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IPFS News Link • Architecture

Experimental shelters sport paper-thin walls – literally

•, By Adam Williams

The team mixed strips of recycled paper and non-toxic glue to create pair of prototype shelters in rural Texas.

The project is named Agg Hab (short for Aggregate Habitat) and was created by i/thee and the Roundhouse Platform for the Oaks Creek Residency, an artist residency on a farm in the Texas Panhandle.

Each shelter measures roughly 20 x 8 ft (6 x 2.4 m), and was made using around 200 liters (50 gal) of non-toxic glue and 270 lb (122 kg) of recycled paper. The team reckons it's probably one the world's largest self-supporting papier-mâché structures and the construction process will be familiar to anyone who has experimented with with the stuff before.

"The process of construction started with the digging of two mirrored, convexo-concave holes, each 4.5 ft [1.3 m]," explains i/thee. "These holes were then cast with multiple layers of an organic, papier-mâché mixture consisting of various recycled papers and non-toxic glues. Next, the casts were removed from their respective holes and flipped over to form duplicate, bulbous, paper shells, measuring 4 mm [0.15 in] thick and spanning over 20 ft [6 m]. Finally, the shells were each moved on top of the adjacent formwork, letting the inverted form of one hole become a paraboloid cap to the other that encloses the structure. Thus, a 4.5 ft [1.3 m] hole becomes a 9 ft [2.7 m] tall interior space."