tokyo-based atelier OPA has developed a cardboard sleeping capsule that could provide refuge to individuals struck by earthquakes, or other various disasters and emergency scenarios, including the COVID-19 pandemic. the design generates a prefabricated double-decker structure that is lightweight, yet robust, ensuring safety, privacy, and a good night’s sleep for each user.

cardboard sleeping capsule by atelier OPA provides shelter in case of emergency
all images courtesy of atelier OPA

the compact construction is made with reinforced cardboard walls and a high-density polyethylene floor — both are fixed with slide locks so that no tape or nails are needed. atelier OPA has connected and remodeled two large ‘uni-pak’ boxes of triwall japan co., to form a single room, with a large round hole for the entrance and a small circular window for daylighting and ventilation. the resulting sleeping capsule consists of a lower private room with a desk and a chair and an upper sleeping area, stacked one on top of each other and connected through a small cardboard staircase.

cardboard sleeping capsule by atelier OPA provides shelter in case of emergency

the capsule can be easily assembled in a few minutes, generating a minimum living space of 3.5 sqm per person. when not in need, the structure can be folded and stacked on the floor, becoming about 1/4 of its original size before finally being discarded and recycled. atelier OPA has introduced the cardboard capsule prototype to several governments, which have responded positively, storing the structures in advance and assembling them at public gymnasiums for future emergency use.

cardboard sleeping capsule by atelier OPA provides shelter in case of emergency