Tiny House Built with Recycled Cardboard at National Forest in Japan

Recycled Cardboard Tiny House

I thought you might also find this tiny house made out of recycled cardboard to be interesting. The purpose of the structure is not a home although it can easily be adjusted for that.

It was designed by Shigeru Ban Architects who are famous for using reclaimed paper products in their projects. The design does include windows but there are also transparent tubes in between the cardboard ones to also help bring in light.

The other interesting fact about the cardboard/paper tubes is that they can easily be replaced later when needed. This was done intentionally as the mountains here provide for a harsh environment for structures so this helps keep things easy when maintenance is needed on the structure.

Another thing I should mention is that this hut was built on an already existing foundation of an old structure that was taken down because it was worn out. So the national park’s forest land was left almost untouched because of this (the foundation was already there).


Isn’t the design just about perfect for tiny living? You’ve got the perfect amount of space below for your living, bathroom and kitchen area and of course the upstairs for your spacious loft bedroom.

More info and photos are available here at the architect’s website.

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Via Inhabitat

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  1. This is very interesting to me as, about ten years ago, my late husband and I were on a car trip through Michigan and talking
    about log cabins. I suggested that one could be built of cardboard tubes, stuffed with insulation for a northern climate.
    After doing some research into the possibilities I decided that it would be too expensive as I could buy the tubes only in very large quantities and waterproofing them would be another expense. I have been following with interest the building of Christchurch Cathedral and still think that cardboard has a place in construction.

  2. the floor plan could easily accommodate living quarters and is a nice size for that. looks like a great location in the mountains. is it mothra proof??? didn’t he live in the mountains? sidetracked again.
    as 2bara notes above you could fill the tubes with insulation, what about the clear tubes? so, ok for moderate climate, not so ok for hot/cold ones. moisture over time would be a problem. cardboard wicks, so you would even have to seal the ends and insides if you didnt use spray foam insulation. just a thought.

  3. This caught my interest but more information is needed as stated by others. It seems the tubes would have to be waterproofed somehow and filled with the foam sprays or other insulation material. Might work as a getaway place in an area that has a moderate climate although I wonder if it would survive the heavy rains we sometimes get in the southeastern part of the U.S.

  4. Is this Fire redundant, or will this structure burn like the paper log that it is made of? I see this is 3 stories tall. Very cool. Stairs from first to second, and a ladder for the top floor. I like its small foot print, and its very steep slopped roof, will help keep any snow load off the house. I can see this as a great tiny home concept. You are most correct in the bottom floor has great room for the kitchen and bath, I would use the second as a living room with a day bed of fold out or something along that line, and the 3rd floor as my bed room. I just question the paper product and the plastic as well. This home would have to meet so many fire restrictions here in the states I don’t think it would ever get approval.

    1. I think you mean “fire retardant”. I think it could be sprayed with a fire-retardant solution but I have had no luck finding out about such a thing. Does anyone out there know?

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