Curtains and paper-tube frames are set up to create cubicles for evacuees in the gymnasium of Obiyama-Nishi Elementary School in quake-hit Kumamoto city on April 24. Architect Shigeru Ban says the method is advantageous because the cubicles can be made from readily available materials. (Minako Yoshimoto)

KUMAMOTO--Earthquake evacuees at an elementary school here will receive some much-wanted privacy through a donation of curtains from a nonprofit organization.

The Tokyo-based Voluntary Architects’ Network hung the fabric curtains from paper-tube frames assembled in the gymnasium of Obiyama-Nishi Elementary School in Kumamoto city on April 24, creating 60 “living quarter” cubicles, each measuring 4 square meters.

Around 200 people displaced from their homes in the series of tremors that struck central Kyushu starting on April 14 are currently seeking shelter inside the school building and in their cars parked on the school field.

The evacuees are set to relocate to the school gym on April 28. The school is scheduled to resume classes on May 10.

“It was difficult to change my underwear until now,” said a 77-year-old evacuee at the school. “But with this, I can now make myself at home.”

The Voluntary Architects’ Network is headed by Shigeru Ban, winner of the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize, a prestigious award often called the Nobel Prize of architecture.