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The Humanitarian Works of Shigeru Ban

Cardboard Cathedral. Image © Stephen Goodenough
Cardboard Cathedral. Image © Stephen Goodenough

2014 Pritzker Laureate Shigeru Ban may be as well known for his innovative use of materials as for his compassionate approach to design. For a little over three decades, Ban, the founder of the Voluntary Architects Network, has applied his extensive knowledge of recyclable materials, particularly paper and cardboard, to constructing high-quality, low-cost shelters for victims of disaster across the world —from Rwanda to Haiti, to Turkey, Japan, and more. We've rounded up 10 projects of his humanitarian work, explained by Shigeru Ban Architects themselves.

Paper Log House India. Image © Kartikeya ShodhanHualin Temporary Elementary School. Image © Li JunPaper Concert Hall L'Aquila. Image © Didier Boy de la TourCardboard Cathedral. Image © Stephen Goodenough+ 25

Centre Pompidou-Metz / Shigeru Ban Architects

© Didier Boy De La Tour© Didier Boy De La Tour© Didier Boy De La Tour© Didier Boy De La Tour+ 13

Metz, France

Bayeux Media Library / Serero Architectes Urbanistes

© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour+ 34

Bayeux, France

Swatch and Omega Campus / Shigeru Ban Architects

© Didier Boy de la Tour
© Didier Boy de la Tour

© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour+ 12

Spotlight: Shigeru Ban

Shigeru Ban (born August 5th 1957) is a Japanese architect who won the 2014 Pritzker Prize for his significant contributions in architectural innovation and philanthropy. His ability to re-apply conventional knowledge in differing contexts has resulted in a breadth of work that is characterized by structural sophistication and unconventional techniques and materials. Ban has used these innovations not only to create beautiful architecture but as a tool to help those in need, by creating fast, economical, and sustainable housing solutions for the homeless and the displaced. As the Pritzker jury cites: “Shigeru Ban is a tireless architect whose work exudes optimism.”

Nine Bridges Country Club. Image © Hiroyuki HiraiOita Prefectural Art Museum. Image © Hiroyuki HiraiLa Seine Musicale. Image © Boegly + Grazia photographersCurtain Wall House. Image © Hiroyuki Hirai+ 17

Water Park Aqualagon / Jacques Ferrier Architecture

© Luc Boegly© Luc Boegly© Luc Boegly© Luc Boegly+ 26

Bailly-Romainvilliers, France
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  8000
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Vetrodomus

Top Global Destinations On The Rise According to TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor announced the World’s Top Destinations “on the rise” according to the 2018 Travelers’ Choice awards. According to TripAdvisor, the winning cities are based on millions of comments posted on the site each year. They also look for cities with an increase in search traffic and user interest to make reservations.

This years list includes ten cities. Keep reading to find out which ten cities were chosen by TripAdvisor world travelers:

Lorient Multimodal Hub / AREP

© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour+ 12

  • Architects: AREP
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Ductal®, A.C.M.L., Mathis et Baudin Châteauneuf, S.R.B.

University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour / Architecture Patrick Mauger

© Didier Boy de la Tour   © Didier Boy de la Tour   © Didier Boy de la Tour   © Didier Boy de la Tour   + 22

  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  3600
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Aquisols

Secrétan Covered Market / Architecture Patrick Mauger

© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour+ 16

  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  4228
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: ETHA, Gérard Ledreux, Joseph Ingénierie

Casa-Port Railway Station / AREP + Groupe3 Architectes

© Didier Boy de La Tour© Didier Boy de La Tour© Didier Boy de La Tour© Didier Boy de La Tour+ 29

Casablanca, Morocco
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  2500
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Ductal®

Material Masters: Shigeru Ban's Work With Wood

To celebrate the first anniversary of our US Materials Catalog, this week ArchDaily is presenting a three-part series on "Material Masters," showing how certain materials have helped to inspire some of the world's greatest architects.

Shigeru Ban’s portfolio is a strange dichotomy, split between shelters for natural disaster refugees and museums commissioned by wealthy patrons of the arts. Even stranger is the fact that, in both cases, Ban’s material palette frequently incorporates recycled cardboard, paper, and old beer crates. The Pritzker prize laureate is unique in this regard, and so great is his predilection for recycled paper tubes (originally formwork for concrete columns), that he has become known as the “Paper Architect.” His work receives media attention worldwide for the unorthodoxy of its construction materials. Yet Shigeru Ban is not concerned with unorthodoxy, but with economy. It is for this reason that, when paper tubes are deemed unsuitable, Shigeru Ban constructs his buildings in wood. Inspired by the architectural tradition of his native Japan, Ban is not only the "Paper Architect," but also one of the most famous architects working in wood today.

Nievre's Departmental Archives / Architecture Patrick Mauger

© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour+ 19

Le Quai des Arts in Argentan / Architecture Patrick Mauger

© Didier Boy de la Tour
© Didier Boy de la Tour

© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour+ 20

Why Tall Wooden Buildings are On the Rise: An Interview with Perkins+Will's Wood Expert

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

Wood. The United States is the largest producer of the natural resource in the world. But yet we rarely see it in commercial, high-rise construction. So we asked a wood expert -- Rebecca Holt at Perkins+Will, an analyst for reThink Wood's recent Tall Wood Survey -- to tell us about its potential benefits.

AD: Why is wood a material architects should use in taller buildings?

There are lots of reasons to consider wood – first it has a lower environmental impact than other traditional choices like concrete and steel. Wood is the only major building material that is made the by sun and is completely renewable.

Ten Buildings Pushing The Boundaries of Wood

Perkins + Will UBC Earth Sciences Building. Image © Martin Tessler
Perkins + Will UBC Earth Sciences Building. Image © Martin Tessler

Wood is the ultimate material - it's renewable, sequesters carbon and more importantly, it's buildable. Nevertheless wood is rarely used in tall, vertical construction. Now reThink wood has come out with their Tall Wood Survey (available in full on their website), which surveyed over 50 wood experts to explore three main areas in which wood is usually questioned: financing, insurance and performance. But beyond discussing the pros and cons of wood, the survey also highlights 10 projects that show how wood products are being used in ways you never thought existed. See all ten innovative projects, after the break.

15 Things You Didn't Know About Shigeru Ban

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.

A Selection of Shigeru Ban's Best Work

Nine Bridges Golf Club. Image © Hiroyuki Hirai
Nine Bridges Golf Club. Image © Hiroyuki Hirai

Explore the architectural development of Pritzker Laureate Shigeru Ban - from his early, more minimalist residential work in the 90s to his experimental, undulating structures (2010's Pompidou Metz, Nine Bridges Golf Club) to his latest masterpiece in timber construction, Tamedia New Office Building (2013).

Paper Temporary Studio. Image © Didier Boy de la TourCurtain Wall House. Image © Hiroyuki HiraiCentre Pompidou Metz. Image © Didier Boy de la TourNicolas G Hayek Center. Image © Hiroyuki Hirai+ 28