Dezeen Magazine

PPS structures by Shigeru Ban

Shigeru Ban Architects creates cardboard shelters for victims of Turkey-Syria earthquake

Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban has provided his Paper Partition System, made from cardboard tubes and fabric, to evacuation centres housing victims of the Turkey-Syria earthquake.

The Paper Partition System (PPS) is constructed using cardboard tubes, which function as a structure that holds up textile partitions.

View of modular shelters by Shigeru Ban
Shigeru Ban has provided earthquake refugees with modular shelters

Ban provided the shelters, which take three people just five minutes to build, to evacuation centres "in response to the Turkey-Syria earthquake".

The architect is working with his Voluntary Architects' Network, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that he founded in 1995, on the project and is calling for donations to support it.

Cardboard-tube PPS shelters
The Paper Partition System is made from cardboard and fabric

The tubes used for the PPS shelters are longer versions of those used to roll up and store fabric or paper and come in two diameters – one for the posts and one for the beams.

Paper or fabrics was draped over the structure and fastened with a safety pin to create shelters that resemble shared hospital wards. They measure two by two metres or 2.3 by 2.3 metres depending on the size of beds they contain.

Boys with cardboard tubes used to build shelters
Cardboard tubes come in two diameters

Recently, Ban also installed the PPS system across temporary shelters in Europe that house refugees fleeing from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Today, the studio also announced that it is also working on a number of other solutions to help the Ukrainian refugees, including plans to produce Styrofoam Housing Systems (SHS), a panel-type housing system.

The SHS houses will be made from lightweight panels made from Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) wrapped around Styrofoam, an extruded polystyrene foam insulation material.

The panels will be made by Ukrainian refugees at a local factory to also create employment opportunities.

Ban's studio worked with Wroclaw Univesity of Technology to create an SHS prototype in September 2022 and is currently conducting structural tests on the panels to ensure they are safe.

Finished PPS shelters for refugees
The finished partitions resemble hospital wards

The studio is also working with Solidarity Fund PL in Poland and Ordinary People in Kharkiv, Ukraine, to distribute Japanese wood stoves to places affected by large-scale power outages.

So far, 190 stoves have been shipped to Kharkiv and Ivano-Frankivsk.

Finished PPS shelters by Shigeru Ban
The shelters were previously used in Ukraine among other places

Ban designed PPS in 2011 and it has previously been used to house victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011), Kumamoto Earthquake (2016), Hokkaido Earthquake (2018), and torrential rain in southern Kyushu (2020).

The system was also used to create Covid-19 vaccination booths during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ban also recently used cardboard tubes to create the structure of the Farmer's Restaurant in Japan, which has a thatch roof.

The photography is courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects.

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PPS by Shigeru Ban Architects
PPS by Shigeru Ban Architects
PPS by Shigeru Ban Architects
PPS by Shigeru Ban Architects
PPS by Shigeru Ban Architects