Monday, May 9, 2011

What an Architect Can Do for Homeless Victims

By Yuko Aoki

Architectural Record published an article on April 21st about Shigeru Ban, who is a Japanese architect and works around the world. He is well known because of his paper tube structure which he used when in Haiti, Sri Lanka, and other countries where people needed to have shelters after natural disasters.

On March 11th, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake shock and Tsunami washed houses away. Even now, a month and half later, there are still a lot of homeless victims who live in gymnasiums. Strangers lives without walls, privacy, and comfortable beds. Ban visited the disaster area with his university students to give victims of the tsunami their own spaces.

Ban brought three types of paper tubes, tape, and fabrics for separation of spaces. Assembling the materials is very easy and has no additional requirements. The fabrication of the partitions is quick and simple and the emotional comfort level of the victims is a lot better compared to when they did not have it.

According to Architectural Record, each unit costs $300 but Ban fabricates them for 250 families in gymnasiums and he absorbs the cost. The partitions are his 1st phase of helping East Japan earthquake and tsunami victims. If you have interest in Shigeru Ban’s plans, please visit his website and support Japanese quake and tsunami victims

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