Hermès – appearing at the Salone del Mobile for the first time – launched its brand new contemporary interiors collection in Milan’s La Pelota (converted squash courts). The luxury brand commissioned leading architects Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines to create the specially conceived space.
Ban and de Gastines, who worked together on the Centre Pompidou-Metz, were a natural choice for Hermès’ creative director Pierre-Alexis Dumas, and Pavilion Hermès, structured with cardboard tubes woven with paper, is essentially a nomadic structure with a modular core.
The interior space has been constructed to be intimate, with ceiling height and area size varying from room to room. The house is open on each end, allowing visitors to walk through the structure with ease.
Simple and minimally-embellished, the space – rather than being an overwhelming display of architectural might – works to reflect on the craft on show, such as eight pieces originally designed by Jean-Michel Frank in the 1920s which were reissued by Hermes in November last year
A wooden frame is in place which acts as the support for paper tubes which are placed vertically to form the walls of the structure. Paper is then woven horizontally across through these ‘columns’ to close off the space, offering more privacy.
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, however, has made paper his primary material, simultaneously celebrating its strength and durability and its delicacy. Ban came to fame after the 1995 Kobe earthquake, his paper based solutions functioning as much needed temporary housing with great cost efficiency.
Ban studied in the United States and returned to Japan in 1985 to establish his practice. He currently maintains offices in Tokyo, Paris, and New York, and teaches at Kelo University. Ban is recipient of two World Architecture Awards (2001 and 2002) and the Architecture for Humanity Award (1999).
Shigeru Ban: Paper in Architecture is the first monograph to chronicle Ban’s innovative work.
Forty of his permanent and temporary structures are featured though brilliant photography and concise text. An essay by Riichi Miyake neatly contextualizes Ban’s progression as an architect and his passion for innovation.
The book serves as brilliant introduction to both the mind of Ban and the potential for paper in architecture.