At PULP, we want to share our research and make our experiences available to everyone. We encourage groups or individuals interested in our work to contact us. If you think you can benefit from any of our past endeavors, we will supply all the drawings and information needed to help your project materialize. Our goal is to incite creative and sustainable waste reclamation practices. At the moment, we have cardboard tubes architecture research from Card-Yard – where, with advice from Arup Engineer, Maria Mingallon, PULP designed and built small pavilions (3mX3mX2.5m-H) out of cardboard carpet tubes. 

cardboard tubes architecture

Architecture For Humanity Toronto pavilion at Card-yard 2013

These cardboard tubes pavilions were very sturdy and stood for roughly 36 hours outdoors. Please scroll down to find out how we built them. If you wish to create similar cardboard tubes architecture, please contact us and we will supply CAD drawings and advice.cardboard tubes architecture

The pavilions were made out of 4.5″ cardboard tubes (carpet cores) and machine cut (CNC) 3/4″ plywood joints. First, we cut tubes to desired lengths and cut crosses in locations designated for joints.

cardboard tubes architecture cardboard tubes architecture  Joints were made out of four parts, ensuring stability in both horizontal directions. The parts are fit together and held by friction and the tubes themselves, no glues needed. cardboard tubes architecture cardboard tubes architecture cardboard tubes architecture Graham Brindle inserting a joint into one of the tubescardboard tubes architecture The joints are inserted into the cross cuts in the tubes and fastened with two 4.5″ long 1/4″ bolts and nuts. cardboard tubes architecture The assembled roof tubes and joints are placed in their desired position using jigs (which we made out of tubes as well). cardboard tubes architecture BIG on Bloor volunteers mounting the tubes meant for the roof on jigscardboard tubes architecture They are then jointed by two more tubes to form the roof. A third bolt and nut tightens the joints to the end of the tubes. This fixed connection is fairly strong.cardboard tubes architecture fabric Waterproof fabric is laid on top of the roof structure and secured with rope or cable and turn buckles tied to grommets punched in the fabric.cardboard tubes architecture ropes and knotsPULP Director Rotem Yaniv making sure the fabric sits nice and tight on the tube structurecardboard tubes architecture cnc plywood joints The feet of the pavilions are made of 2 CNCed 3/4″ plywood pieces fitted into each other and fastened inside the tube with a single 5″ long 1/4″ bolt and nut. Cuts of 1/2″ wood can be attached with short screws or bolts and nuts to widen the foot and allow a weight (for example, bags of sand) to be place on top.cardboard tubes architecture cnc plywood joints cardboard tubes architecture cnc plywood jointscardboard tubes architecture cnc plywood jointsPULP Director Justin Shin bolting a plywood foot to a post with help from a BIG on Bloor volunteercardboard tubes architecture Attach the top of the posts to the roof structure.cardboard tubes architecture cardboard tubes architecture Fasten diagonal bracing made out of tubes cut in half length-wise with 5″ long 1/4″ bolts and nuts.

Cardboard tubes architecture

PULP Director Justin Shin bolting a plywood foot to a post with help from a BIG on Bloor volunteer

cardboard tubes architecture Card-yard at BIG on BloorCard-yard at BIG on Bloor 2013cardboard tubes architecture Card-yard at BIG on Bloor


We hope you enjoyed this research about cardboard tubes architecture. Please contact us and tell us what you think, or if you are interested in working with similar methods.