We took a look at some cool uses for cardboard recently, but this may actually take the cake. Architect Shigeru Ban built an entire house out of cardboard tubes, putting new meaning to the idea of recycling cardboard. The house, situated on Yakushima Island in Japan, has a rather remarkable story behind it, but first, let's all take a moment to marvel at the idea of cardboard construction in an area where rain, high winds, and other weather issues would seem to argue against using such a frail building material.
Ban's structure is built in the style of traditional mountain lodges, small huts that provide shelter from the elements when the weather kicks up. His architecture team used the footprint of a previous structure that needed to be demolished so they wouldn't disturb the surrounding heritage site, ensuring that the hut is both highly ecologically friendly and rather unusual to look at.
It's made from cardboard tubes interleaved with clear tubing to provide plenty of clear natural light. If tubes become damaged, they can easily be replaced without disturbing the rest of the structure. The two-story structure has a steep roof to provide plenty of drainage for rain (an issue with Portland roofing, for example), and there's even a balcony for enjoying stunning views of the site when the weather is fair.
This innovative architectural project blends tradition, ecological friendliness, and sensitivity to an existing site. It might be difficult to imagine building an entire structure from cardboard (and to be fair, it has some structural support elements made from other materials), but Ban's hut is, undeniably, a cardboard house!