Cheap, environmentally friendly and easy to manufacture- is flatpack housing the way forward?
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Cardboard? Really? It’s the common reaction to the idea of making buildings out of thick paper, such as the temporary cardboard cathedral announced for Christchurch, New Zealand, whose 19th-century one was destroyed in the earthquake last February. I met Shigeru Ban, the new cathedral’s designer seven years ago. “Buildings made of concrete are easily destroyed by earthquakes, but paper-tube buildings can survive without damage,” he said, somewhat prophetically. Won’t the cardboard go soggy in the rain? Won’t it catch fire? I didn’t need to ask if it was strong enough: we were sitting in a studio he had built on top of the Pompidou Centre in Paris – out of cardboard tubes.
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