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'Shigeru Ban: Paper in Architecture'

The new book examines the Japanese architect's work.

November 28, 2009

There are architects whose work exists only on paper. Then there is Shigeru Ban.

The architect (pronounced she-gay-roo-BAHN) has gained fame partly from work made of paper. The new Rizzoli book "Shigeru Ban: Paper in Architecture," edited by Ian Luna and Lauren A. Gould with essays by Riichi Miyake, shows how Ban has brought new meaning to architecture with his use of recycled cardboard paper tubes.

"Paper is made out of trees," Ban says. "Humans create architecture out of trees, so it must be possible to create architecture out of paper."

Projects profiled in the book include the architect's weekend residence, the Paper House in Lake Yamanaka, Yamanashi, Japan. Built in 1995, it was his first permanent structure approved by the Japanese government using paper tubes as a structural material in construction.

The book covers public spaces as well, including Ban's 2006 Vasarely Pavilion, a temporary outdoor seating area in Aix-en-Provence, France. The structure, up for one week, evoked the ideas and forms of geodesic dome designer Buckminster Fuller. Closer to home, the book also shows us the 2006 West Coast version of Ban's temporary Nomadic Museum, whose checkerboard exterior was created with shipping containers in Santa Monica.

-- Jeffrey Head

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