Ecuador Project


Voluntary Architects' Network + Keio University Shigeru Ban Lab + Voluntary Team in Ecuador

Ecuador Earthquake

On April 16 at 18:58 ECT Ecuador was hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8. Death toll rised to 663 and 28,775 people were displaced from their homes. The most affected area was the coastal Manabi Province where 646 deaths (97%) have resulted. Voluntary Architects’ Network visited Ecuador during April 30 to May 3, 2016 and discussed about the disaster relief projects with local officials and experts. Cities visited during the first visit were Manta and Portoviejo in the Manabi Province.
Fig.1 Areas Affected by Earthquake in Ecuador

Fig.2 Damaged buildings in Manta

Visit to the Disaster Areas

International organizations and NGOs provided aids to some areas, but not all areas were able to receive aids. One case was in down town Manta where people started to build their own tents and community to live and work within the city. Living condition in such places are poor and there are risks that it could eventually become a slum.


Fig. 3 Temporary house built by local residents
Fig.4 Interior view of temporary shelter
Fig. 5 Community Toilet
Fig. 6 Interviewing the community


Fig. 7 Tents provided by international organizations
Fig. 8 Meeting with Mayor of Portoviejo

Project Overview

The proposed building site is in the heart of downtown Manta along the coast. About 20 families have built up their own shelters (Fig.3,4) and community toilets (Fig.5) after the earthquake but the living condition is poor. These tents will be replaced by new shelters and each family will own their own toilets. We will start the project by providing 20 shelters to the existing community and continue building for other people who have lost their homes. Our goal is to build 100 shelters and they will be built by local volunteers consisting of architectural students and architects.

Fig. 9 Building site in Manta
Fig. 10 View of building site in Manta
Fig. 11 Meeting with deans of 19 architecture faculties of different universities and the Japanese ambassador to Ecuador
Fig. 12 Meeting with local architects who will be the core members of the project

Temporary House Design

he design of the temporary house was based on the Paper Loghouse in the Philippines as the weather condition in coastal Ecuador is Tropical and similar to that of the Philippines. Some revisions were made to make the structure stronger. Local materials were selected to match the local conditions and to reduce the building cost.

Fig. 13 Sketch of temporary house

Fig. 14 Sketch of toilet

Mock-up in Japan

Made by students of Shigeru Ban Lab at Keio University. The mock-up was used to study details.

Fig. 15 Paper tube structure
Fig. 16 Exterior view

Mock-up in Ecuador

Made by local architects and students in Quito using local materials

Fig. 17 Testing floor panels
Fig. 18 Cutting bamboo sheets
Fig. 19 Paper tube structure
Fig. 20 Exterior view

Related News

  • El arquitecto Shigeru Ban disertó ayer en el Rumiñahui ante 4 000 fanáticos (El Comercio, May 3, 2016)

  • Japonés Shigeru Ban, arquitecto de terremotos, pone manos a la obra en Ecuador(El Comercio, May 3, 2016)

  • Arquitecto japonés que diseña 'casas de papel' apoyará a Ecuador ante terremoto(La Nación Costa Rica May 2, 2016)

  • El Telégrafo: Shigeru Ban, el arquitecto japonés especialista en material reciclado(El Telégrafo, May 2, 2016)

  • Shigeru Ban, arquitecto japonés premio Pritzker, visitará zonas afectadas por terremoto (El Comercio, April 22, 2016)

  • Shigeru Ban joins disaster relief effort following Ecuador earthquake (dezeen, April 27, 2016)

  • Supporters and Collaborators

    Embassy of Japan in Ecuador
    Bienal Panamericana de Arquitectura de Quito
    Empresa Pública de Vivienda
    Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad humana
    Grupo Wong, La Favorita
    Fuerzas Armadas del Ecuador
    Carmal Hats Casa del Sombrero
    Japan Eyes
    Fundación Guayasamín
    Fundación Iglesia de La Compañía

    Call for Donations

    Voluntary Architects' Network calls for your support in our relief endeavor. Donations made to the following account are very much appreciated. One shelter can be built at a cost of approximately 2,000USD.
    -・Branch: HIGASHI-MATSUBARA Branch
    -・Account Name : Voluntary Architects Network
    -・Account No : 319-0036997
    -・Swift Code : BOTKJPJT (or BOTKJPJTXXX if asked for 11-digit code) 
    -・Please add E) at the beginning of the sender’s name for us to verify that the donation has been made for Ecuador project. 
    ---Example: E) Taro Yamada

    Please email us to let us know of your donation.


    Fig. 1: Secretaría Nacional de Planificación y Desarrollo
    Fig. 2-8, 11-16: Voluntary Architects' Network
    Fig. 9, 10: Google Map
    Fig. 17-20: acción colectiva and Carolina Rodas