Sustainable architecture: cardboard as a building material

Among the objectives of sustainable architecture are the use of the territory’s natural resources and the limitation of environmental impact.

Cardboard, which we all know for being versatile, light, resistant, mouldable, but above all recyclable and sustainable, has also proven to be an excellent building material.

In recent years its use has increased, as have its areas of application: in addition to being increasingly used in the packaging sector, as a valid alternative to plastic, it has also been used for the creation of design objects and exhibition displays. and events.

In the world of architecture, the idea of considering cardboard as a building material was not a recent intuition: there are two architects in particular who have chosen it for their projects.

Erect a cardboard building? But of course

The first to use cardboard as an alternative material was the inventor and architect Richard Buckminster Fuller, who applied it to his geodesic domes, a project which earned him the prize at the Milan Triennale in 1954.

It was, and still is, Japanese architect Shingeru San who carried forward this intuition and made this material his signature, with his brilliant idea of applying polyurethane to the cardboards surface, in order to make it waterproof and fireproof.

Thanks to this mechanism he was able to erect entire buildings in cardboard tubes, reducing costs and construction times.

An innovation that has made him a point of reference in the world of architecture and famous globally, so much so that in 2014 he won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the highest award in the field of architecture.

Among his numerous works, we remember: the Christchurch church in New Zealand, built on the ruins of the ancient late Gothic cathedral and the Paper Concert Hall, the auditorium built in L’Aquila, Italy, following the 2009 earthquake, as a symbol of proximity to the city by the Japanese government.

The Paper Concert Hall opened on May 7, 2011 with an opening ceremony featuring the orchestra conducted by Tomomi Nishimoto.

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