Paper Tower by Shigeru Ban



London Design Festival 09: a temporary tower made of paper tubes designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has been erected on the South Bank in London.


Called Paper Tower, the 22m structure has been commissioned as part of Size + Matter, a London Design Festival initiative which this year also features a metal sculpture by Marc Newson, also located beside the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank.


See all our stories about London Design Festival 2009 in our special category.


Photos are by Susan Smart Photography.


Here's some info from London Design Festival:


Renowned Designers To Create Ground-Breaking Sculptures For The London Design Festival


Two of the world’s most highly regarded designers and architects – Marc Newson and Shigeru Ban – have been commissioned by the organisers of The London Design Festival to create installations for its annual Size + Matter initiative.  The aims of this project are to challenge the perception of the everyday materials used, by creating dramatic temporary installations outside the Festival Hall which will be on display from 19 September, the opening date of the Festival, until mid October.


Shigeru Ban is an architect based in Tokyo and Paris.  He is best known for his disaster relief projects– in particular the cheap immediate housing made from paper and card which can be used in earthquake situations. For the London Design Festival he has designed a tower made from cardboard which will soar over the embankment walkway and be visible as a new addition to the South Bank skyline.

Made from cardboard tubes, the tower is articulated by metal joints, a system similar in design to the system used by Ban in his construction of a bridge, boathouse and various pavilions around the world. Sponsored by Sonoco, a global supplier of industrial and consumer packaging, the structure will be 22m high and once built, will become the tallest paper tower in the world.

Posted on Sunday September 20th 2009 at 9:30 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • bagelwithcreamcheeseplease

    whatevs y’all

  • modular

    Man this is so boring. When I first saw this I thought they were kiding me.

    Live this just looks dull and uninteresting.

  • fvale

    what’s the point ?

  • techtonics

    Now, make it an interpretation of V. Tatlin’s tower out of paper and I’ll be more interested…

  • Matthias

    Hey, but it’s The Tallest Paper Tower In The World. When the festival is over, just move it to Texas or something. Where people have more appreciation for art.

  • san

    shigeru once made great stuff with his paper tubes – an elegant church which unfolds a masterly play of light, shadow and different densities; a column free sustainable hall for the expo in germany or emergency shelters in africa….but this one is just imitating student work exploring tesselations from 2 years ago

  • angry catalan

    @ techtonics: this is an interpretation of Shukhov’s tower so it’s not so far from Tatlin’s…

  • ryan

    wow. apparently nobody has an appreciation for the use of paper material (recylced) and the highly detailed tectonic of the structure.

    maybe not his best work, but still nice

  • I did build a birthday cake the shape of Tatlin’s tower lately, tall enough that you need an aerialist to blow the candle… if that’s your thing.

  • DB

    Having stumbled across this last weekend, I have to say that it is not only naive but frustrating that someone actually thought it was worthwhile to build. What a waste of money and paper!
    All connections are galvanised steel and look clunky. The tubes are short (1.5m max) and I just don’t see why we should be impressed with a ‘cardboard’ structure when it is in fact not cardboard.
    So it is not “the tallest paper tower in the world” Dezeen, get you facts straight.

  • JohnH

    I reckon a Shukov tower still uses less steel :)

  • When I first saw this structure I was thinking if they were already putting together a new christmas tree in September! Afterall it is from Shigeru Ban (obviously) but despite being a really interesting structural concept, the shape and idea of the tower brings nothing interesting to the site… Why couldn’t they comission somehting much more interesting from an architect that does interesting buildings?