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Paper Church Kobe

Shigeru Ban Architects

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dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

Paper Church Kobe

Project Status


Year Completed


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Project Description


This community center was built by church volunteers whose house of worship was destroyed by Kobe earthquake in 1995. Materials were donated by a number of companies, and construction was completed in only five weeks by the 160 volunteers. The plan (10 x 15m) is enclosed within a skin of corrugated, polycarbonate sheeting. Within this, 58 paper tubes (325mm in diameter, 14.8mm thick, and 5m high), were placed in an elliptical pattern. The eclipse is based on those in Bernini’s church designs, and the space between the eclipse and the outer edge of rectangular-shaped site formed a corridor and provided lateral support. At the entrance to the eclipse, the spacing of the paper tubes was widened, and the facade fully glazed to form a continuous, unified space between the interior and exterior. This church was disassembled in June 2005 and all the materials were sent to a city in Taiwan.

For more information about Shigeru Ban's 2014 Pritzker Prize, please read
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