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.”
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban has mobilized his Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN) to aid victims of recent devastating floods in Southern Japan. At least 210 people have been killed by flooding and landslides which occurred last week, with a continuing heatwave further hampering recovery efforts.
Ban, along with members of the VAN and student volunteers, is constructing a partition system in evacuation centers made from paper tubes and cloth curtains. The temporary structures intend to offer privacy for flooding victims, forming a modular unit of 2 meters by 2 meters.
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).
The award is an initiative funded by Jay Pritzker through the Hyatt Foundation, an organization associated with the hotel company of the same name that Jay founded with his brother Donald in 1957. The award was first given in 1979, when the American architect Philip Johnson, was awarded for his iconic works such as the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.
The Pritzker Prize has been awarded for almost forty straight years without interruption, and there are now 18 countries with at least one winning architect. To date, half of the winners are European; while the Americas, Asia, and Oceania share the other twenty editions. So far, no African architect has been awarded, making it the only continent without a winner.
New Renderings Reveal Interiors of Shigeru Ban-Designed World’s Tallest Hybrid Timber Building in Vancouver
A new set of renderings has been released the Shigeru Ban Architects’ Terrace House development in Vancouver, revealing the interiors of the residential building for the first time. Being developed by PortLiving, the project will utilize an innovative hybrid timer structural system. When completed, it will become the tallest hybrid timber structure in the world.
Last week, Mexico received a visit from 2014 Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban, who, following September’s devastating earthquakes, reached out to the country in order to offer support through his experience with humanitarian projects.
Pritzker Prize winning architect Shigeru Ban has signed an agreement with UN-Habitat, the United Nations agency tasked with guiding sustainable development, to design up to 20,000 new homes for refugees in Kenya’s Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement. Currently home to more than 37,000 refugees, the settlement is quickly outgrowing its original capacity of 45,000 – over 17,000 have arrived this year alone, with numbers expected to continue to increase.
“The key thing will be to design and construct shelter where no or little technical supervision is required, and use materials that are locally available and eco-friendly. It’s important that the houses can be easily maintained by inhabitants.”
Photographer duo Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia have released a new photo series capturing the Seine Musicale, which recently opened its doors. Designed as a partnership itself between architects Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines, the mixed-use music and cultural center is located in Paris’ western Boulogne-Billancourt suburb. The project is the latest feature in the site’s Island Master Plan designed by Jean Nouvel. Features include a multi-purpose concert hall seating 4,000, a classical music call seating 1,150, rehearsal and recording rooms and an outdoor park area for visitors and practicing musicians.
For centuries before the invention of screws and fasteners, Japanese craftsmen used complex, interlocking joints to connect pieces of wood for structures and beams, helping to create a uniquely Japanese wood aesthetic that can still be seen in the works of modern masters like Shigeru Ban.
Up until recent times, however, these techniques were often the carefully guarded secrets of family carpentry guilds and unavailable for public knowledge. Even as the joints began to be documented in books and magazines, their 2-dimensional depictions remained difficult to visualize and not found in any one comprehensive source.
That is, until a few years ago, when a young Japanese man working in automobile marketing began compiling all the wood joinery books he could get his hands on and using them to creating his own 3-dimensional, animated illustrations of their contents.
New images from HOUSE VISION Tokyo 2016 have been released as the event opened to the public this past weekend. This year’s theme, “Co-Dividual: Split and Connect / Separate and Come Together,” explores how architecture can create new connections between individuals, and the ways Japanese housing can adapt to cultural shifts through the implementation of technology.
This year’s exhibition features house designs by top Japanese architects including Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban and Atelier Bow-Wow, each paired with a leading company to envision and implement new strategies in housing design.
Continue after the break to see images from the event and the pavilions.
Following the success of the inaugural HOUSE VISION Tokyo in 2013, the exhibition is set to return again this summer under the theme of “Co-Dividual: Split and Connect / Separate and Come Together.” Once again curated by Kenya Hara, designer and creative director for minimalist housewares retailer Muji, the month-long event will tackle the objective of “thinking about how to create new connections between individuals,” as well as build upon the topics explored by its previous edition, namely the ways in which Japanese housing can adapt to recent demographic, technological and cultural shifts, and the vision of the house as the intersection between industries.
This year’s exhibition will feature house designs by top Japanese architects such as Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban and Atelier Bow-Wow, each paired with a leading company to envision and implement new strategies in housing design. The houses will be constructed at full-scale, allowing event-goers to fully experience and reflect upon each design.
Redsquare Productions has produced a short film on architect Shigeru Ban’s design for the Aspen Art Museum (AAM) in Aspen, Colorado. The film explores the museum’s architectural design and built environment through the utilization of time-lapse and motion sequences, highlighting Ban’s vision for the space.
Japanese architect and 2014 Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban will visit Ecuador on April 30 to help with disaster relief following the recent earthquake, according to a press release from the College of Ecuadorian Architects – Pichincha Province (CAE Pichincha). Known for bringing innovative and high quality design to the people that need it the most, Ban has developed successful responses to disasters in Asia, Africa, Europe and Central America.
Shigeru Ban has designed a retractable, refillable "SCALE" pen for ACME Studio that was inspired by the architect's ruler. The aluminum pen, designed to fit comfortably into your hand, serves as a fully functional architect's scale outfitted with a ballpoint pen that retracts with a simple twist of the pen's two halves.
A new exhibition, opening later this month in London, aims to examine the varying ways that cities and communities have been re-imagined in the aftermath of natural, or man-made, disasters. Including work by Yasmeen Lari, ELEMENTAL, OMA, Shigeru Ban, NLÉ, Toyo Ito, Metabolism (Kenzo Tange and Kurokawa Kisho) and Sir Christopher Wren, who redesigned London in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1666, the exhibition will primarily explore contemporary responses to earthquakes and tsunamis. Posing questions about the fragility of architecture, our relationship to nature, and the power of architects to instigate change, it will ask whether we are facing a paradigm shift in the way that cities and communities recover from destruction.
The architecture world is a very different place compared to what it was ten years ago - a fact that is all too obvious for today's young architects, who bore the brunt of the financial crisis. But how can recent graduates harness such rapid change to make a positive impact? This article written by ArchDaily en Español's Nicolás Valencia explores the impact of the financial crisis on architecture in the Global South and in particular in the Spanish-speaking world, finding that it may be the inalienable right of the architect "to give yourself room to fail or to quit."
For some years now, three figures have been floating around that are worrisome to Chilean architects and architectural students: every year 48 architectural schools enroll 3,500 students and give degrees to another 1,400 in a completely saturated market. The future appears bleak, the professional internships are depressing, and among those who already have degrees, we're all too familiar with the exploitative offices that not only offer their employees zero contracts (or health insurance of any kind, all the while praying that nobody gets injured) but also make them work much more than they agreed to with paltry salaries and labor unions that have seen better days. Meanwhile at the universities, talking about money in studios, or about flesh and blood clients, has become a taboo subject. “Students, don't let money tarnish the beauty of the discipline” they tell you. Of course, not only does it not get tarnished, but we've gotten to the point where many don't even know how much to charge for a plan drawing, let alone for an actual project.
The world of architecture is small. So small in fact, that Rem Koolhaas has been credited with the creation of over forty practices worldwide, led by the likes of Zaha Hadid and Bjarke Ingels. Dubbed “Baby Rems” by Metropolis Magazine, this Koolhaas effect is hardly an isolated pattern, with manifestations far beyond the walls of OMA. The phenomenon has dominated the world of architecture, assisted by the prevalence and increasing necessity of internships for burgeoning architects.
In a recent article for Curbed, Patrick Sisson dug into the storied history of internships to uncover some unexpected connections between the world's most prolific architects. With the help of Sisson's list, we've compiled a record of the humble beginnings of the household names of architecture. Where did Frank Gehry get his start? Find out after the break.
He may have risen to prominence for his disaster relief architecture and deft use of recyclable materials, but Shigeru Ban describes his idiosyncratic use of material as an "accident." Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, the 2014 Pritzker Prize Laureate recalls turning to cardboard tubes as a matter of necessity. "I had to create a design for an exhibition," Ban told the newspaper, "But I couldn't afford wood. Instead, I used the many paper tubes from rolls of drafting paper that were lying around. The tubes turned out to be quite strong." The most prominent of Ban's cardboard tube structures is Christchurch's Cardboard Cathedral, built in the aftermath of an earthquake that devastated the city in early 2011. Read WSJ's full interview with Ban here.
As the Pritzker Jury begins its deliberations for the 2015 Pritzker Prize, this is a critical time of year for shaping the landscape of architectural debate for the coming year and beyond. The following is an open letter to Martha Thorne, the Executive Director of the Pritzker Prize, from Conrad Newel, author of the popular blog Notes on Becoming a Famous Architect.
I have to hand it to you and all the people on the Pritzker committee, you guys are a very crafty bunch. Just when I thought I had you all figured out, you have now - even though only slightly - succeeded in confounding me.
From my 2011 analysis of the Pritzker, I figured that your potential pool of laureates was always a very predictable bunch. In fact anyone could look at my data and predict with reasonable certainty that the next laureate would most likely be an Asian or Caucasian male starchitect from Europe, The USA, or Japan. I further pointed out that none of your laureates have done much in the way of humanitarianism, despite the fact that the mission statement of the Pritzker also asks that the recipient should be making significant contributions to humanity. I maintained that this part of the mandate has been consistently overlooked.