Madrid (spain), 2013 :: shigeru ban’s cardboard tubes pavillon at the IE School of Architecture and Design

The project had a restricted budget, so Shigeru Ban designed a system of cardboard roof trusses and columns which were cheap to install and can be easily recycled when the building is eventually dismantled. The IE School commissioned the pavilion, supported by the Japan Foundation. The opening event was a lecture by Ban entitled “Appropriate Architecture”.

The Madrid University building took only two weeks to build, is based on sustainability objectives, and there was a requirement that it be a temporary construction. It is made of 173 paper tubes held together by timber joints that rest on paper columns.

The structural design is eminently efficient. It took only two weeks to build it and is based on sustainability objectives.The form of the pavilion, built by workers from the region using local materials, is an excellent example of design and construction for IE University’s architecture students.

Decked out with LG‘s multi V III heating and air conditioning systems, the space isideal for meetings, presentations and reception area. the pavilion is based in an existing wall, built with local materials and labor, and will prove to be an excellent bastion of ‘leading by example’ for the architecture students studying at the university. the paper pipes are assembled to make a
parallel series of trusses with cross tension cables connecting the vertical wooden posts.  larger paper columns support the further end from the anchoring structure marking the limit of the space. retractable glass doors can close off the pavilion for weather conditions or completely open it to the outdoors for larger audiences or free displays.

‘IE’s culture and shigeru ban’s work share a commitment to sustainability, the humanistic spirit, and the blending of multiple cultures. The pavilion opened here today will serve as a hub for the exchange of ideas in a place that is light, open, elegant and functional, while its ephemeral nature serves to remind us of the need for the permanent transformation of knowledge.’ – santiago iñiguez, dean of IE business school and president of IE university

The tubes were manufactured and waterproofed locally in Spain and were assembled by members of the surrounding community.

The Paper Pavilion is constructed in the university’s Serrano garden and will serve as a multi-purpose space for events, meetings, talks and exhibitions.

“One of the main challenges in any project is that the design must take into consideration the specific characteristics of the location. In this case, we used an existing wall and kept the pavilion as far as possible from the adjacent building,” Shigeru Ban said in a statement. “I try to use local firms for my work. In this case the tubes, for example, were made in Zaragoza.” Shigeru Ban also pointed out that students from IE School of Architecture took part in assembling the paper tubes, and underscored how important it was as an educational experience for them.

The latest Shigeru Ban paper tube building has opened at IE University in Madrid, Spain. Elsewhere, Ban built the paper tube Nomadic Museum in New York City on a Hudson River pier in 2007, aCamper retail store in New York’s Soho neighborhood, and now in Christchurch, New Zealand he is constructing an A-Frame cathedral out of the temporary, eminently efficient material.


Photographs: FG + SG

image © fernando guerra

images © FG + SG


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