Japanese architect Shigeru Ban showed his commitment to sustainability and disaster relief efforts with the completion of his Paper Log House in Maui. He initially designed it for the earthquake victims in Marrakesh–Safi, Morocco, but has extended help to those affected by the wildfires in Lahaina, Maui, which claimed 99 lives and destroyed homes. 

This is a prototype of the home originally crafted for the 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake. The house is a quick-to-construct and affordable shelter primarily constructed from materials made with wood and paper. Cardboard tubes, a feature that gives the house its name, form the columns that support prefabricated wooden panels. These panels are arranged to form the walls, roof, and floor.

The Paper Log House sits slightly elevated from the ground via beer crates filled with sandbags. The roof comes with a water-resistant membrane for durability while circular openings on the roof facilitate natural lighting. The roof structure and the walls are also insulated and the paper tubes applied with a waterproof polyurethane coat.

Shigeru Ban and his team at VAN (Voluntary Architects’ Network), joined forces with local groups, namely Hawaii Off Grid Architecture and Engineering and students from UH at Manoa School of Architecture, in constructing the home. They completed the shelter in just three days from December 4 to 7.  

The team at Hawaii Off Grid Architecture and Engineering reflected on the collaborative project on Instagram writing: “The crews worked for 3 days straight to build this prototype for a sustainable solution for midterm housing for those displaced by the wildfires. We are so grateful that renowned architect Shigeru Ban and his team came out to guide everyone through the building process.”

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Images courtesy of VAN