Shigeru Ban Architects

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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

Who Has Won the Pritzker Prize?

The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).

La Seine Musicale / Shigeru Ban Architects

© Shigeru Ban Architects© Shigeru Ban Architects© Shigeru Ban Architects© Shigeru Ban Architects+ 61

Boulogne-Billancourt, France

Aspen Art Museum / Shigeru Ban Architects

© Michael Moran / OTTO© Michael Moran / OTTO© Derek Skalko© Derek Skalko+ 41

Tamedia Office Building / Shigeru Ban Architects

© Shigeru Ban Architects© Shigeru Ban Architects© Didier Boy de la Tour© Didier Boy de la Tour+ 52