Shigeru Ban - KYOBAI, Japanese Art and Culture London Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Catalogue Essay

    Shigeru Ban is the pioneer of paper tube structures and has become synonymous with experimentation with alternative materials in architecture. His structures have proven that they are not only sculptural, but can also withstand diverse weather conditions and are fire resistant. His cardboard columns are load-bearing structures which can support monumental spaces such as the Japanese Pavilion at the Expo 2000 in Hanover and easily built temporary structures such as refugee camps. Interestingly his primary concern is recycling as waste management prior to environmental issues. Ban puts his work into context of architectural history which has developed from representative, monumental building to a concern for social housing.The need for a shift in materials is an evident step and his experiments put this process into a 21st century context. A good knowledge of architectural history and an interest in existing natural materials are the formula for Ban’s innovative, original concept of building, which leads the way into a time where natural resources are to be conserved so man can continue to enjoy the beauty of this planet.
    The Tea House
    … It is in fact the “House of Fantasy,” for it is just an ephemeral building, a shelter for poetic feelings. It is also the “House of Emptiness,” for it is free of all ornament, except for what little is necessary to satisfy the aesthetic aspiration of the moment. Finally, it is the “House of Asymmetry” in that it is destined for the cult of the incomplete, and some small detail is always left unfinished, so that it may be completed by the play of the imagination… Okakura Kakuzò,The Book ofTea, in: Barbara Radice, Memphis, London, 1985, p.101


‘PTH-02 Paper Tea House’


Paper tubes, Japanese paper, honeycomb cardboard.

200 x 538 x 260 cm. (78 3/4 x 211 3/4 x 102 3/8 in).

Manufactured by Shigeru Ban Architects Europe, France.

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £31,700

KYOBAI, Japanese Art and Culture

3 Apr 2008, 6pm