Paper House / 紙の家

Yamanakako Village, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan / 山梨県山中湖村


An S-shape configuration comprised of 110 paper tubes (2.7m high, 275mm in diameter and 148mm thick) defines the interior and exterior areas of the paper house. This was the first project in which paper tubes were authorized for use as a structural basis in a permanent building. Ten paper tubes support the vertical load and the eighty interior tubes bear the lateral forces. The cruciform wooden joints in the bases of the columns are anchored to the foundation by lug screws and cantilevered from the floor. The large circle formed by the interior tubes forms a big area. A freestanding paper tubes column with a 1.2m diameter in the surrounding gallery contains a toilet. The exterior paper tubes surrounding the courtyard stand apart from the structure and serve as a screen. The living area in the large circle is without furnishing or detail other than an isolated kitchen counter, sliding doors, and movable closets. When the perimeter sashes are opened, the roof, supported by the colonnade of paper tubes, is visually emphasized and a spatial continuity is created between the surrounding gallery space and the outdoor terrace.


©1995 Shigeru Ban Architects All Rights Reserved