In the immediate aftermath of the 7.3-magnitude earthquake that devastated Nepal, Shigeru Ban did what he does after so many natural disasters and conflicts: He offered to help. Ban announced that his Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN) would immediately get to work distributing tents to be used for homes and medical centers. As the situation on the ground stabilized, VAN would transition to building homes and community facilities.
Ban has now unveiled what these new structures will look like. They are designed to go up quickly and be constructed at little cost. In Nepal, that means using the rubble brick from the earthquake to fill in modular wooden frames. The firm explained: “This simple construction method enables anyone to assemble the wooden frames very quickly and if a roof (a truss made of local paper tubes) is secured on top, and the wooden structure covered with a plastic sheet, people can immediately begin to inhabit the shelters. Afterwards, people can stack the rubble bricks inside the wooden frames and slowly complete the construction themselves.”
The first prototype is expected to be completed next month. You can donate to the effort here.