Arthur Andersson on Timeless Materials & Building “Ruins”

Tower House . Image © Art Gray

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural  in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Arthur Andersson of Andersson-Wise Architects wants to build ruins. He wants things to be timeless – to look good now and 2000 years from now. He wants buildings to fit within a place and time. To do that he has a various set of philosophies, processes and some great influences. Read our full in-depth interview with Mr. Andersson, another revolutionary ”Material Mind,” after the break.

Shigeru Ban’s “Kooky” Architecture: Just What the World Needs?

Workers in Chengdu, China, assemble the Hualin Temporary Elementary School, designed by the Japanese architect after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Image Courtesy of Forgemind ArchiMedia

British writer Tim Abrahams finds Shigeru Ban‘s architecture ”kooky, Middle Earthy, Hobbity” – an opinion which earns him the title of “idiot” in the eyes of newly appointed Architecture for Humanity Executive Director Eric Cesal. In an article for the Boston Review, Stephen Phelan uses the pair’s opposing opinions to illustrate the Pritzker Prize winning architect’s perceived failures and successes. Read his very engaging take, here.

Live from Amsterdam: Pritzker Prize Award Ceremony with Shigeru Ban

The 2014 Pritzker Prize Ceremony to honor laureate is taking place today in Amsterdam at 17:00 UCT.

The ceremony will occur outside of the recently re-opened Rijksmuseum. Speakers will include Martha Thorne (Executive Director of the Prize), Eberhard van der Laan (Mayor of Amsterdam), Lord Palumbo (Chairman of the Prize), Tom Pritzker (Preisdent of the Hyatt Foundation), and the 2014 Laureate Shigeru Ban.

Shigeru Ban Designs Temporary Pavilion for the World Cup

© Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

In honor of the World Cup (which starts today), the Brazilian Embassy in , , has invited Shigeru Ban, this year’s Pritzker Laureate, to build a temporary pavilion.

Located at the entrance of the embassy, the three foot tall, 120 m² temporary structure will be a place where people can meet after the games since, due to the time difference, the games will not be broadcast on site.

Happy Birthday Frei Otto!

Courtesy of mytum.de

Frei Otto, German architect and structural engineer turns 89 today. The 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium is perhaps his best known work. The pioneering tensile structure, which stood in considerable contrast to the strict, authoritarian stadium that was its predecessor, was meant to present a different, more compassionate face for Germany. Today, Frei Otto is still active in practice, working alongside architects such as Pritzker prize winner Shigeru Ban on the at Expo 2000. Thanks for your contributions and Happy Birthday Mr. Otto!

Ban, Kimmelman, Others Speak at “Cities for Tomorrow”

On April 21st, ArchDaily tweeted about watching keynote speaker Shigeru Ban kick of the Cities for Tomorrow conference in New York. In his first appearance since winning the Pritzker Prize, he addressed how we should approach and development today with architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. To watch more videos – of Ban as well as speakers such as  Vishaan ChakrabatiShaun Donovan, and Janette Sadik-Kahn discussing the future of our cities – click here.

Sold! 100 Design Relics from Niemeyer, Le Corbusier, FLW and More

Alvar Aalto: Early cantilevered armchair with stepped base, model no. 31, designed for the Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Paimio, 1929-1933 (Sold for £23,750). Image Courtesy of Phillips

UPDATE: The has concluded and more than £5.6 million was made. Find out how much the famous, architect-designed relics went for after the break.

Next week, a rare collection of over 100 relics designed by some of architecture’s most significant practitioners from the last two centuries will be auctioned off at the Phillip’s in London. Ranging from a full-scale paper tea house by this year’s Pritzker laureate Shigeru Ban to the Peacock chair designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, the items being showcased and sold are an ode to the ideas in which have had a profound impact on our built environment.

An  of the items, appropriately titled “The Architect,” is already underway, prior to the auction on April 29.

Works by Gerrit Rietveld, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer are all available for purchase. Read on for a preview of the highlighted items…

The Pritzker-Profit Connection: Shigeru Ban’s Works Gaining Value in NYC

Image © Karsten Moran for The New York Times

A recent article from The New York Times confirms something we’ve all long-suspected. A Pritzker translates into big bucks. Demand for Shigeru Ban’s Manhattan buildings has soared since his awarding of the prize. The New York Times reports that page views of the Metal Shutter Houses, for example, have quadrupled on the listings site Streeteasy.com. Why? The Pritzker name carries weight:

“In this second age of high-flying real estate, brand-name architecture and globe-trotting wealth, the identity of a designer has taken on ever-increasing value to ensure that a project’s multimillion-dollar homes stand out. Anyone can install waterfall showers and Wolf ranges. A Pritzker is harder to come by.”

“Though Mr. Ban’s Pritzker could make it costlier to hire him in the future, some developers find a laureate worth the expense. ‘You can save a lot on plans, because you only have to change 10 percent of the project, instead of 90 percent; the vision is just so complete,’ the developer Aby Rosen said. ‘And you also save a ton on the marketing. People want to write about these Pritzker projects, and an article is way better than an ad.’”

But what does it mean when architecture – particularly the architecture of a socially-conscious designer like Ban – becomes a brand-name item? As Laura Ilonemi writes, “the begins to perpetuate an environment that is unhealthy to architecture: too strong a divide is created between winners and non-winners of the same calibre. [...] Sought-after commissions, and other opportunities perhaps better suited to other candidates, may well go to winners, helping to reinforce the trend of ‘designer buildings’ in much the same vein as designer label consumer goods and products. ”

As one real estate agent, representing a resident of the Metal Shutter Houses, put it: “It’s like buying an Hermès bag but better.” Is, in the end, the Pritzker nothing more than a branding tool? Should it be more? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Jury Member Juhani Pallasmaa On Finding Less “Obvious” Pritzker Laureates

Last week, while the ArchDaily team was in Mexico City for the Conference, we caught up with Pritzker Jury member and asked him to shed some light onto the recent winners of one of architecture’s highest honors. Watch Pallasmaa, a renowned Finnish architect and professor, explain what motivates his approach for recognizing architects in a world with “so much publicity.”

“The Pritzker jury has now, for at least 5 years, tried to select architects who are not the most obvious names because there is so much publicity in the architectural world and we’d rather try to find architects who have not been published everywhere else…”

VIDEO: Charlie Rose Interviews Tom Pritzker and Shigeru Ban

sits down with Tom Pritzker and 2014 Pritzker laureate Shigeru Ban to discuss the importance of architecture, the purpose of the Prize and the significance of Ban’s selection. The discussion starts at 40:00, following coverage on the Malaysian Airline’s tragedy.

Pritzker Juror Alejandro Aravena on Shigeru Ban: Virtuousity in Service of Our Most Urgent Challenges

The following is ’s response to the Shigeru Ban’s Pritzker winAravena is the executive director of the firm ELEMENTAL S.A and a member of the Pritzker Jury who selected Ban as this year’s Pritzker Laureate.

Shigeru Ban has expanded the field of architecture in unexpected ways. He has proved that the inspired artist and the skilled designer is not inevitably condemned to work for a privileged elite, but that innovation can take place while working for the majority, particularly those historically underserved, forgotten or neglected. In order to do that, he redefined the approach to deal with difficult, urgent and relevant challenges, replacing professional charity by professional quality. Ban has shown that no matter how tough the circumstances or scarce the means, good design far from being an extra cost carries the added value of sharp efficiency, power of synthesis and an uplifting feeling.

From #Baffled to #BanstheMan! Twitterverse Reacts to Shigeru Ban’s Pritzker Win

We culled the Twitterverse looking for reactions to ’s Prizker win – from readers and critics alike. While the responses were generally positive, some were less so.

See our favorite responses – from #baffled to #goodenough to #Banstheman! – after the break.

AD Interviews Pritzker Prize Winner Shigeru Ban

Last week we had the opportunity to interview this year’s Pritzker Prize winner, Shigeru Ban, within his Metal Shutters Houses in New York City. The Japanese architect, who was a member of the Pritzker jury from 2006-2009, gave us his thoughtful, humble response to receiving architecture’s most prestigious prize, saying the win is an “encouragement for me to continue working to make great architecture as well as working in disaster areas.”

When we asked him how he remains so committed to humanitarian efforts, balancing them with his other commissions, he explained: “I also like to make monuments because monuments can be wonderful treasures for the city, but also I knew many people were suffering after the natural disasters, and the government provided them very poor evacuation facilities and temporary housing. I believe I can make them better.”

Read the entire interview transcript, in which Ban discusses his innovative use of materials and gives us a few anecdotes about studying in the US, after the break.

15 Things You Didn’t Know About Shigeru Ban

Left, Image of © Flickr User VisiOkrOniK. Right, from top to bottom, Ban’s Temporary Studio (© Didier Boy de la Tour), the Japan Pavilion for the Hanover Exhibition 2000 (© Hiroyuki Hirai), and his design for “Architecture for Dogs” (© Hiroshi Yoda).

You probably know by now that Shigeru Ban has won this year’s Pritzker Prize, but did you know he almost went to university to play rugby? Or that he constructed his home without pulling down a single tree? These and many more fun facts on the 38th Pritzker laureate, after the break.

Shigeru Ban Named Pritzker Laureate 2014

Courtesy of

“Shigeru Ban is a tireless architect whose work exudes optimism. Where others may see insurmountable challenges, Ban sees a call to action. Where others might take a tested path, he sees the opportunity to innovate. He is a committed teacher who is not only a role model for younger generation, but also an inspiration.” — Pritzker Jury 2014

Citing his innovative approach to structure and material as well as his commitment to compassionate design, the Pritzker Jury has selected Japanese architect Shigeru Ban as the 2014 winner of the Pritzker Prize. Ban is the thirty-eighth recipient of the and its seventh Japanese recipient.

Ban, who studied at Sci-Arc and Cooper Union, first gained international recognition for his experimental, creative use of unconventional materials, particularly paper and cardboard. However, he has more recently gained fame for bringing low-cost, high-quality design to those most in need of it, such as refugees and victims of natural disaster.

According to the jury, the Pritzker Prize recognizes architects who both display “excellence in built work and who make a significant and consistent contribution to humanity.” Shigeru Ban, whose approach is as innovative as it is humanitarian, “reflects this spirit of the prize to the fullest.”

Read the Jury’s full citation after the break…

Inside the Homes of Eight Famous Architects

Shigeru Ban’s Tokyo house. Image © Hiroyuki Hirai

Originally published in Metropolis Magazine as “Inside the Homes and Workspaces of 8 Great Architects“, this article shows the spaces occupied by some of the best-known architects in the world. Documented for an that will be featured at the Milan Design Week 2014, the images give a glimpse inside the private worlds of some of our favorite designers.

It’s a cliche that architects have messy workspaces. From chaos comes creation, so the phrase goes. But an upcoming exhibition at this year’s Salone del Mobile intends to dispel the myth. Where Architects Live will present glimpses into the personal spaces of eight significant architects: Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai.

Curator Francesca Molteni interviewed each of the designers in their private homes and came away with one finding: architects are actually quite tidy. The studios are all pristinely ordered; books are neatly stowed away, figurines and objets astutely displayed, and table tops swept clean. The photographs below are part of the exhibition materials, produced with the help of scenographer Davide Pizzigoni, which faithfully document the physical environments in images, video, and audio. These will be used to recreate the architects’ “rooms” at Salone del Mobile in April.

Where Architects Live is not limited to satisfying our curiosity about what these architects’ homes look like. Richard Rogers’ affirmation that “a room is the beginning of a city” resonates with the project’s aim in trying to articulate its subjects’ personal tastes and obsessions, and how those are reflected in their architectural work.

Read on to see more images of the inside of architects’ homes and studios

TEDxTokyo: Emergency Shelters Made from Paper / Shigeru Ban

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Disappointed that most architecture is built for the privileged, rather than society, Shigeru Ban has dedicated much of his career to building affordable, livable and safe emergency shelters for post-disaster areas. As described by TED: 

Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as tubes and paper. His remarkable structures are often intended as temporary housing, designed to help the dispossessed in disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda, or . Yet equally often the buildings remain a beloved part of the landscape long after they have served their intended purpose.

‘Shigeru Ban – Architecture and Humanitarian Activities’ Exhibition

Centre Pompidou-Metz / © idier Boy de la Tour

Currently taking place at the Art Tower Mito‘s Contemporary Art Gallery and Plaza until May 12, the ‘Shigeru Ban – Architecture and Humanitarian Activities’  exhibition is the architect’s largest exhibition and encourages visitors to think about the architect’s role in society. From his early works and a pioneering new architectural material to an ongoing disaster project, the exhibition explores the diverse activities and achievements of the architect as well as his vision and spirit to challenge social issues and disasters. Featuring architectural models, mock-ups, photographs, videos of his major and important works, and furniture, Ban is known for his innovative work constructed by developing or applying building materials from objects already existing in our everyday lives. For more information, please visit here.