Furniture as Architecture #Shigeru Ban
The Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, awarded with the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2014, is generally known because of his innovative use of cardboard as structural material and his emergency shelters.
Ban is also the creator of the structural system Furniture House, where the storage unit system is used as structure for bearing the weight of the roof and as partitions for organising the dwelling’s layout according to the needs of the dwellers.
Ban used this system for the first time in the Furniture House in Lake Yamanaka (1996), a single-storey, open-plan, outward-looking house where, like Mies, the interior is organised and arranged by the furniture instead of common partition walls. This system is used in several houses designed by Ban, such as the Nine-square Grid House (1997) and the Sagaponac House in Long Island (2006). A prototype house with the same structural system using furniture by Muji was also built for the House Vision exhibition in 2013.
One of the most singular dwellings by Ban is the Naked House (1999-2000), where the private spaces that must be enclosed are solved as movable pieces that can be randomly placed into an open plan, that is, as furniture. The three bedrooms are furniture pieces that can move through the house, switching to the nets in the external walls and allowing the highest flexibility of the internal layout.