Disaster Housing with a Cardboard Roof by Shigeru Ban

The Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has developed a plan to provide disaster relief housing for those affected by the two earthquakes in Nepal earlier this year. Dubbed the Nepal Project, it aims to provide housing for the many who were left homeless after the natural disaster.


Nepal Project - Disaster Housing - Shigeru Ban - Exterior - Humble Homes

The two earthquakes, which are believed to have been the worst to hit the country in over 80 years, resulted in the death of approximately 9000 people, 25,000 injured, and scores more left without a home. Shigeru’s Nepal Project aims to provide basic housing making use of the rubble from the devastation.


Nepal Project - Disaster Housing - Shigeru Ban - Interior Living Area - Humble Homes

The house is a modular structure and can be increased in size to accommodate families of all sizes, or can be used for larger community buildings such as schools. It makes use of a wooden frame to create the structure of the home, after which the roof and walls are added.


Nepal Project - Disaster Housing - Shigeru Ban - Several Units - Humble Homes

The walls are formed from the rubble of buildings that were destroyed in the quakes. The bricks are simply used to infill the panels, rather than act as a structural component. In typical Shigeru fashion, the roof is composed on circular cardboard tubes – a material he has used throughout his career – and plastic sheeting.

Nepal Project - Disaster Housing - Shigeru Ban - Model - Humble Homes

From the architects: “This simple construction method enables anyone to assemble the wooden frames very quickly and if a roof is secured on top, and the wooden structure covered with a plastic sheet, people can immediately begin to inhabit the shelters.”

Nepal Project - Disaster Housing - Shigeru Ban - Cut Away Model - Humble Homes

This isn’t the first time Shigeru has applied his skills to disaster relief – he’s previously worked on projects in New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Japan. The studio is hoping to complete its first prototype later this month. Shigeru’s disaster relief charity, Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN) is already present in the affected area, providing tents for those in need.

For more shelters check out these whimsical single-person pods created by Gregory Kloehn for the homeless. Or, Econnect’s concept house that’s built like a 3D puzzle. See all shelters.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Calzada Visualization

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

1 Comment
  1. I am sure after surviving a quake, that living under cardboard over another material like wood, would be a little more calming on the nerves. Looks inexpensive and a good solution.