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Temporary Architecture

Project timeline

2005 – 2008



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Nomadic Museum Change this

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The Nomadic Museum is a purpose-built temporary structure designed to house the 'Ashes and Snow' photography and film exhibition by Gregory Colbert.

The design integrates 148 shipping containers as 'walls' and paper tubes for support, a material the architect is known for using.

At the conclusion of the first exhibition, the various components of the museum were packed into a few dozen containers and transported to the next venue. The remainder of the containers will be left behind, and rented replacements will take their place at the new location.

The configuration of the structure will also change from time to time, as Ban adapts the design to fit the size and shape of different sites.

New York, 2005

The first Nomadic Museum, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and engineers Buro Happold, debuted with the opening of 'Ashes and Snow' in New York City in March 2005. It was built on the historical west piers of Manhattan.

Los Angeles, 2006

The site in Santa Monica was unlike that of New York’s long pier structure but was shorter and much wider. The original 200m long gallery was divided into two 100m lengths and arranged parallel to each other with a spacing of the same width as the gallery. A membrane roof was put over the void and the requested museum shop and cinema was added. It was possible to avoid increasing the number of containers while adding further functionality.

Tokyo, 2007

The museum then traveled again to Tokyo where it was constructed in a similar way to that of Santa Monica.


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