UPM support Shigeru Ban's Temporary Container Housing project in aid of the victims of 3-11 Tsunami

October 18, 2011Akiko Ando


Mr. Shigeru Ban is an accomplished Japanese and international architect well known for his usage of recycled materials. He recently used paper tubes and canvas sheet to quickly and efficiently house “3-11” tsunami victims in Japan. Now his multi-storey Container Temporary Houses are ready for new residents in Onagawa—a coastal town in Japan that was destroyed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The 9 blocks of three storey buildings include 188 temporary apartments, situated on the damaged Tohoku coast in Onagawa, Miyagi prefecture, two hours by car from Sendai city. The main structure is based on old shipping containers piled up on each other, held up by steel poles and linked with corridors and doors. The building components are recyclable, easy to dismantle, and possible to relocate to another place in the future. The technique also enables to easily increase the number of houses within limited space.

Shigeru Ban asked UPM to arrange UPM ProFi decking materials to be used for outside terraces and inside corridors. The corridors are very narrow but with UPM ProFi, people who are walking on the corridor could aware of the door width from the color difference. This is not only functional but also well-designed.

In overall design, markets, shopping facilities, library and art hall are added for full service in the site to enhance inhabitant’s social community life in the future. The project is privately financed by donations. It’s great that UPM decided to participate in this project. Surely, being the Biofore Company matches the concept of finding innovative ways to reuse and recycle materials.

Shigeru Ban's designs have been collaborated for several times with UPM. His innovative work, environmentally friendly Artek Pavilion with UPM ProFi “The Space of Silence”, in Helsinki, Milan and Miami in 2007, still remains fresh in our memories. Later on, he also designed a terrace of a modern private home in Tokyo, a foot bridge made of corrugated board in France and L-shaped assembled chair by Artek, using UPM ProFi material.

The site will include nine blocks of three-storey buildings. (Courtesy: Shigeru Ban Architects)

The container temporary housing is built from recycled and recyclable materials. (Courtesy: Shigeru Ban Architects)

Shigeru Ban’s Container Temporary Housing project provides homes for almost 200 families. (Courtesy: Shigeru Ban Architects)

The interiors and basic furniture have been designed by Shigeru Ban’s team using recycled wood, corrugated board and paper cores. (Courtesy: Shigeru Ban Architects)

More project information, please check this site: 

18 October, 2011

Akiko Ando
Office Manager, UPM Japan, Tokyo


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