February 1, 2023

Architecture studio Shigeru Ban designed the unique Farmer’s Restaurant on Awaji Island. Situated in the middle of a field on the Japanese island, the restaurant features a thatched roof, and huge cardboard tubes, giving the structure a rather raw and unfettered aesthetic. The restaurant also functions as a music hall!

Designer: Shigeru Ban

The restaurant was commissioned by the agricultural company Pasona Agri-Partners Inc, in an attempt to bring farm-fresh veggies to the table, by serving food prepared from vegetables straight from the field! It is heavily influenced by traditional Japanese farmhouses, which is quite evident in its large thatched roof. The restaurant’s rather raw look, chunky beams, and columns pay tribute to the massive trees used to build traditional Japanese farmhouses. These rustic elements were crafted from two pieces of Japanese cypress wood, covered in cardboard tubes.

The Farmer’s Restaurant also showcases Shigeru Ban’s ‘Paper Tube Structures’ system, – his iconic and pioneering utilization of cardboard tubes as components in the architecture. The cardboard tubes have been coated in waterproof paint, and are designed to be replaced later since they are placed outside. Wooden panels, doors, and various openings mark the exterior of the restaurant, alongside the chunky columns. The interiors of the restaurant feature wooden flooring, stools, and banquet tables.

Ban also integrated his modular Paper Partition System (PPS), which was created to provide privacy to people seeking refuge in refugee centers. PPS utilizes thin cardboard tubes as partitions – in the form of structures and textiles. A single unit can be built by three people in five minutes.

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