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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

House at Kalalgoda / Damith Premathilake Architects

© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya+ 19

Hokandara, Sri Lanka

Kalundewa Retreat / Earth & Space Architects

© Eresh Weerasuriya© Pasindu Kithmina© Pasindu Kithmina© Pasindu Kithmina+ 32

Nestled Hideaway Villa - Boutique Hotel / IPA Architects

© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya+ 27

Kandy, Sri Lanka
  • Architects: IPA Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  10000 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Vitra, Alumex, Dulex, Rocell, Sayerlack

Veherakanda Road House Baddagana / Chinthaka Wickramage

© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya+ 20

Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Sri Lanka

'Urban Envelope' Samuel House / MMGS Architects

© Malaka Weligodapola© Malaka Weligodapola© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya+ 37

Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Architects: MMGS Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  358
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2012
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Dulux, Vitra, Alumex

Kurundu House / Zowa Architects

© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya+ 20

Digana, Sri Lanka
  • Architects: Zowa Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  4300 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015

Nanotechnology Center of Excellence / Arch International

© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya+ 18

  • Architects: Arch International
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  5000
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2013
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Reynaers Aluminium, Fibow Space Frame

Polwaththa House / Chinthaka Wickramage Associates

© Eresh Weerasuriya © Eresh Weerasuriya © Eresh Weerasuriya © Eresh Weerasuriya + 26

Pannipitiya, Sri Lanka

Floated House / KWA Architects

© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya+ 18

Kandy, Sri Lanka
  • Architects: KWA Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  1300 ft² Area:  1300 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2014 Year:  2014

Layered House / KWA Architects

© Eresh Weerasuriya
© Eresh Weerasuriya
Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Architects: KWA Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  500 Area:  500
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015 Year:  2015

© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya+ 19

Nugegoda House / Chinthaka Wickramage associates

© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya+ 18

House 1 / Isurunath Pramitha Associates

© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya© Eresh Weerasuriya+ 22

Colombo, Sri Lanka