Announcement – Shigeru Ban Architects – "Paper partitions for Japan earthquake and tsunami victims"
« On March 11, 2011, 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific coast of Tohoku, JAPAN.
We are currently preparing to deploy ｓimple partitions for evacuees taking shelter at gymnasiums in the Tohoku region.
From now on, for people taking shelter in these sites, it is necessary to avoid distress from the lack of privacy and high density.
PAPER PARTITION SYSTEM- Fukuoka,Japan,2005 and Fujisawa,Japan,2006:
When the Fukuoka earthquake struck in 2005, ten years had passed since the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake, the last time a seismic intensity was recorded over 6 in a large Japanese city. The main issue in the first phase at evacuation sites is the high density of refugees. Privacy is needed due to the lack of close relationships between neighbors in everyday life. Simple cardboard sheets were offered for insulation and to create a border between families. The cardboard was only used to cover the floor in early crowded times; after the population decreased, the cardboard was used to create partitions for night time privacy.
Constant revision was done whenever large earthquakes occurred in Japan, aiming to fit the needs of evacuation sites since the first attempt made in Niigata (2004). After the project in Fukuoka, wall structures that had been honeycomb boards were changed to a strut-beam structure using paper tubes that can be furnished faster and conveniently at any site, with white cloth for partitions. The joints were made of plywood, and ropes were used for braces .For flexible partitioning depending on the family size, the modularized unit dimensions were standardized at 180cm. For administration, it is impossible to forecast partition needs, so low cost and high speed were the priorities in developing this partition system. »
(Source: Nicolas Marier)