Architecture: He Builds With A Really Tough Material: Paper

There are a few ineluctable facts about buildings. They are expensive, time consuming and labor intensive to make. They are strongest if built from the sturdiest materials. Well, no, on all counts. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has built homes, pavilions and churches, some of them permanent, using little more than cardboard tubes. "I was interested in weak materials," says Ban, 42. "Whenever we invent a new material or new structural system, a new architecture comes out of it." Ironically, Ban may be closer to the old modernist ideals than many who build today in glass and steel. He wants beauty to...

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