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Cardboard: The Latest Architecture and News

Cardboard: From Industrial Workhouse to Shigeru Ban’s Master Material

Cardboard tubes are so commonplace that we may no longer even notice them. Yet they are everywhere: in a roll of toilet paper, in the packaging of the college diploma, in fireworks, and in the tissue and paper industries. And now, more and more, they can be found in unusual places, such as on the walls of houses and buildings. The material is part of modern life and is being produced for a multitude of industrial applications and consumer products. The vast majority are used as structural cores in winding operations. Immediately after manufacturing, paper, film or textiles are rolled directly onto cardboard tubes resulting in a stable roll that is easily stored and transported.

Cortesia de Voluntary Architects' Network© Michael Moran / OTTO© Michael Moran / OTTO© Bridgit Anderson+ 8

Open Call: FAB FEST - International Fabrication Competition and Public Festival

FAB FEST is a week-long celebration of design and making, hosted by the Fabrication Lab at the University of Westminster. For the third year running, it invites creative designers from around the world to envision and build their ideas about architecture and the city. It will feature over 80 pavilions and installations designed internationally, manufactured in the Fabrication Lab, and assembled and installed in Central London.

Modular Eco-Housing Pushing Boundaries With Cardboard

Designed and developed by Fiction Factory, a company of creative makers from Amsterdam, Wikkelhouse loosely translates to ‘wrapped house.' This sustainable modular house is uniquely created with cardboard as its main building material and is customizable in its size and function.

Wikkelhouse Dordrech. Photo Courtesy of Yvonne WitteClose-up Construction. Photo Courtesy of Yvonne WitteLayers of Cardboard. Photo Courtesy of Yvonne WitteWikkelhouse Interior. Photo Courtesy of Yvonne Witte+ 12

Cardboard Pavilion "Get High Without Drugs" Wins FAB FEST Prize

Quirky, innovative and visceral, Get High without Drugs was awarded first place in the fabrication category at this year’s International FAB FEST* in London.

Mollusk-like and mysterious from the outside, the form of the pavilion emerges from the combination of a zonohedron and a dome. Seventy-two hexagonal surfaces were formulated into fold-able nets that could then be digitally fabricated from flat-sheets and assembled into load-bearing modules. A puzzle-like routine drove the assembly of the modules into the pavilion’s dome-like form.


Students Design Temporary Furniture for Victims of Displacement

Ten third-year furniture design students from Finland's Lahti University of Applied Sciences - Institute of Design, created temporary living solutions using only plywood and corrugated cardboard. Low cost, quick and easy fabrication, with no tools necessary: Rehome is a solution for recent catastrophes, such as natural disasters and the ongoing refugee crisis, which leave many people displaced from their homes.

© Jani Luukkonen© Jani Luukkonen© Jani Luukkonen© Jani Luukkonen+ 16

Recycling In Practice: Perkins + Will Finds New Life for Cardboard Tubes

In architectural offices, the cardboard tubes used in large-format rolls of paper seem to multiply at an alarming rate, populating every nook and cranny until they fill the rafters. The team at Perkins + Will Boston have invented a cheeky solution to stem cardboard tube proliferation in the form of a privacy screen that behaves simultaneously as a sound and visual barrier, and as a storage space. Composed of dozens of reclaimed cardboard tubes fitted into a CAD-mapped and cut plywood frame, the 'wall' provides ample opportunities for drawing storage, sunlight mitigation, and playful interaction without disrupting workflow.

Find out more about Perkins + Will's solution to cardboard tube waste after the break

Courtesy of Perkins + Will Implementation plan . Image Courtesy of Perkins + WillCourtesy of Perkins + Will Phase one installed. Image Courtesy of Perkins + Will+ 13

Newly Released Photos of Shigeru Ban's Cardboard Cathedral in New Zealand

Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Cathedral is officially open to the public, just over two years after the crippling 6.3 magnitude earthquake ravished the New Zealand town of Christchurch. With an expected lifespan of 50 years, the temporary cathedral will serve as a replacement for the city’s iconic 1864 Anglican cathedral - one of Christchurch’s most prized landmarks - until a more permanent structure is built.

TEDxTokyo: Emergency Shelters Made from Paper / Shigeru Ban

Disappointed that most architecture is built for the privileged, rather than society, Shigeru Ban has dedicated much of his career to building affordable, livable and safe emergency shelters for post-disaster areas. As described by TED:

Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as cardboard tubes and paper. His remarkable structures are often intended as temporary housing, designed to help the dispossessed in disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda, or Japan. Yet equally often the buildings remain a beloved part of the landscape long after they have served their intended purpose.

UdK Berlin Bookshop 2010

© Reiner Hausleitner
© Reiner Hausleitner

Each year UdK Berlin organizes a small competition among the students for the concept of a Bookshop inside the School. This year’s winning proposal for the shop was designed by Dalia Butvidaite, Leonard Steidle, Johannes Drechsler and the all participating students then helped manufacturing the structure.

Cardboard as the main material was chosen because of its flexibility in shape, stability, cheapness, temporary feeling, lightness, mobility and last but not least its recyclability.