Shigeru Ban’s Paper Log House at Philip Johnson’s Glass House
Michael Biondo

Shigeru Ban’s Paper Log House at Philip Johnson’s Glass House

18 Apr 2024  •  News  •  By Gerard McGuickin

In New Canaan, Connecticut, Shigeru Ban: The Paper Log House has opened as part of the 75th anniversary celebration of Philip Johnson’s Glass House. A collaboration between The Glass House, Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA), and The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union in New York, the Paper Log House will be on display at The Glass House campus until 15th December 2024. 

photo_credit Michael Biondo
Michael Biondo

A much revered example of modern architecture, The Glass House was designed by architect Philip Johnson and completed in 1949 alongside the Brick House. “When the Glass House and Brick House were completed, Philip Johnson was just at the beginning of what would become an expansive campus filled with structures that continually pushed boundaries in design and materials over the course of more than 50 years,” says Kirsten Reoch, Executive Director at The Glass House. “The Paper Log House continues this ethos of experimentation and innovation, turning Ban’s creative energy toward the solution of urgent social problems with recyclable and easily available materials.”

photo_credit Michael Biondo
Michael Biondo
photo_credit Michael Biondo
Michael Biondo

The construction process of the Paper Log House was led by SBA’s New York office. The process involved 39 architecture students from The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union (Shigeru Ban studied architecture at the Manhattan-based college). The students worked on fabricating and assembling a 13.6 x 13.6 x 11.7 feet (approx. 4.1 x 4.1 x 3.6 meter) structure made from 156 paper tubes, 39 milk crates, plywood, and roof membrane. 

photo_credit Shigeru Ban Architects and Voluntary Architects' Network
Shigeru Ban Architects and Voluntary Architects' Network

Components for the Paper Log House were produced over a period of five weeks and assembled on-site by 17 students, faculty, and members of the SBA team — the structure was built in 15 hours over two days in March 2024.

photo_credit Video still by Hudson Lines
Video still by Hudson Lines
photo_credit Video still by Hudson Lines
Video still by Hudson Lines
photo_credit Video still by Hudson Lines
Video still by Hudson Lines
photo_credit Video still by Hudson Lines
Video still by Hudson Lines

Shigeru Ban Architects was founded by Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate Shigeru Ban. The architect conceived his first Paper Log House in 1995 in the wake of the Great Hanshin Earthquake in Kobe, Japan. A pioneer of paper tube construction, Ban has made use of this modest, sustainable, and inexpensive material in a variety of installations, buildings, and disaster relief projects. The temporary Paper Log House provides a marked contrast to The Glass House — by exhibiting Ban’s structure at the celebrated architectural campus, it presents an opportunity for visitors to question the permanence of architecture and to explore materiality, particularly in relation to providing emergency shelter for those affected by conflict, natural disasters, and the climate emergency.

photo_credit Michael Biondo
Michael Biondo
photo_credit Michael Biondo
Michael Biondo

Site area: 25 x 25 feet (7.6 x 7.6 meters) of compacted gravel

Floor area: 185 square feet (17 square meters)