Human termites – paper construction projects

November 9, 2007

bridge in profile

Acid-free paper is intended for archiving documents for hundreds of years under ideal conditions, not building things. But there really are some significant – and magnificent – examples of paper engineering.

Shigeru Ban’s Paper Bridge, built in 2007 at Remoulin, France, although it’s not an entirely paper construction, is just one of his paper tube structures (and the rest of Shigeru Ban Architects‘ site is worth looking at too).

Oxford’s Paper House – which survived, inhabited for at least 60 years – I wish I could find some pictures of this! This was the subject of two talks: The House by Rob Kinchin-Smith and John Powel (the builder) by Robert Sephton, of the Cowley Local History Society (in Oxfordshire, UK).

Artek PavillionAnd so I discovered yet more on paper construction, this picture being Shigeru Ban’s Artek Pavillion made from recycled labels, as seen on Inhabitat.

I haven’t begun to scratch the surface of these new technologies.

Despite my joking yesterday about the centuries acid-free paper can last, I wonder how long these structures will be around for.

But we have a way to go before we humans produce paper structures on the scale termites can.

Magnetic Termite Mounds, Litchfield National Park in Australia's Northern Territory


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