© Bianca Biernatek, Alexander Wolf
One of the first questions asked when considering building a house of paper is whether it would collapse into an unsightly mound of pulp after the first heavy rain, assuming it had not already burned down by that time. The use of paper and paperboard as building materials goes back to the 1930s. However, the techniques never became mainstream building methods. Except for products such as woodchip wallpaper or cellulose insulation, such use of paper-based products is the exception rather than the rule. Even advances by architects such as Shigeru Ban, who worked intensively with paperboard tubes, assembling them into impressive gridshells, the materials remain avantgarde.