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Shigeru Ban: The Latest Architecture and News

A Look Back at the 9 Japanese Architects Honored with the Pritzker Prize

Last week, Japanese architect and social advocate Riken Yamamoto was announced as the 2024 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, becoming the 9th Japanese architect honored with the profession’s most prestigious award. Throughout the 45-year history of the Pritzker Prize, Japan stands out as the nation with the highest number of laureates. While geography is not a criterion in the selection of the laureates, Japanese architecture consistently impresses with its interplay of light and shadow, the careful composition of spaces, soft transitions between interior and exterior, and attention to detail and materiality. An ingrained culture of building also celebrates diverse designs and encourages global dialogue and the exchange of ideas and best practices. Read on to rediscover the 9 Japanese Pritzker laureates and glimpse into their body of work.

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Shigeru Ban Designs Cross-Laminated Timber Hospital for Ukraine

Shigeru Ban has announced the intention to collaborate with the municipality of Lviv to design an expansion of the Lviv hospital. As the largest hospital in Ukraine, this unit has witnessed an increase in the number of patients since the beginning of the war, leading to the need to increase the capacity of the institution. Shigeru Ban’s proposal uses cross-laminated wood and joints inspired by traditional wooden construction techniques to create a safe and welcoming environment for healing and recuperating.

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London Design Biennale Opens with over 40 Exhibitors and Contributions from Foster + Partners, PLP and Hassell

London Design Biennale has opened on June 1st, 2023, at Somerset House, bringing together participants from around the world to celebrate new forms of international cooperation through design. The Biennale, now in its fourth edition, will display more than 40 installations focused on the theme ‘The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations,’ chosen by this year’s Artistic Director, the Nieuwe Instituut, Instituut, led by Aric Chen. In addition to the national participants, the Eureka exhibition will showcase cross-disciplinary innovations from UK’s leading research centers.

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Shigeru Ban Unveils Updated Prototype for Temporary Housing in Response to the Turkey-Syria Earthquake

Shigeru Ban Architects, in collaboration with Voluntary Architects’ Network, has developed an improved version of the temporary housing developed to help those affected by the recent Turkey-Syria earthquake. The new prototype represents an upgrade of the paper tube system deployed in northwestern Turkey after the 1999 earthquake. This new version takes into consideration matters of efficiency and the need to minimize construction time on site.

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Shigeru Ban on Inhabiting the Margins: “Anything Available Is Building Material”

From the 21st to the 25th of September, the Mextrópoli Festival + XII Ibero-American Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism took place in Mexico City. As part of the event, ArchDaily spoke with 2014 Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban about the central theme "Inhabiting at the margins", a proposal that sought to make visible the work of those who are providing solutions to the growing social, environmental, and economic needs at the margins of the system.

Construction Works Begin on Shigeru Ban's Hybrid Residential Tower in Belgium

Shigeru Ban has just launched the office’s most recent project in Nieuw Zuid in Antwerp, Belgium. Named Ban, after its creator, and in collaboration with Bureau Bouwtechniek, the complex puts in place a 25-story residential tower and a separate building, creating a total of 295 residential units. During the breaking ground ceremony, the architect also inaugurated an exhibition of images highlighting his humanitarian work in conflict and disaster areas, in near proximity to the construction site.

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Displaced in Lviv, the Kharkiv School of Architecture Continues its Ukraine-Focused Educational Program

When war started in Ukraine, the faculty and students of the Kharkiv School of Architecture (KhSA) were forced to flee from their city. After three weeks of being scattered across Ukraine and Europe, they decided to reconvene in Ukraine and continue their work. The school relocated to Lviv, one of the safest cities in Ukraine, in order to restart their in-person education. Various platforms and institutions in Lviv, like the Lviv National Academy of Arts, are hosting the dislocated institution and providing continuous support. The KhSA is also looking for financial support to help keep the school open.

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In Times of Need: Architects Stepping Up in Humanitarian Crisis

Hard times bring people together. In recent years we have seen how collective work can be a driving force to help those affected by natural or man-made disasters. After a disaster or displacement, a safe physical environment is often essential. Therefore, the need for coordination becomes a key factor in assisting people in times of need.

Architects, as "Shelter Specialists", play an important role in creating safe and adequate environments, whether it is individual housing, public buildings, schools, or emergency tent camps. But as architect Diébédo Francis Kéré says, "When you have nothing and you want to convince your community to believe in an idea, it may happen that everybody starts working with you, but you need to keep fighting to convince them."

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Ursula von der Leyen and Francis Kéré Open the Bauhaus Earth Conference

The “Reconstructing the Future for People and PlanetConference, hosted by Bauhaus Earth and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS), has begun at the Casina Pio IV in the Vatican Gardens. The conference opened with a speech from Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission. The extensive program brings together renowned scientists, architects, spatial planners, and policymakers to discuss the transformation of the built environment from a driver of climatic and societal crises into a force for regeneration.

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ZEN Wellness SEINEI Accommodation Facility / Shigeru Ban Architects

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Shigeru Ban and VAN Install Paper Partition Systems in Emergency Shelters for Ukrainian Refugees

Shigeru Ban and VAN Install Paper Partition Systems in Emergency Shelters for Ukrainian Refugees - Featured Image
Installation at SC Galychyna in Ukraine. Image © Serhii Kostianyi

The war in Ukraine continues, and the number of refugees has risen to 5million, according to the U.N. Renowned for his involvement in humanitarian aid, Shigeru Ban and the Voluntary Architects' Network have been deploying a paper partition system (PPS) for emergency shelters in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, designed to provide some privacy to the Ukrainian refugees. Since early March, PPS has been installed in Poland, Slovakia, France, and Ukraine by Shigeru Ban Architects and VAN, collaborating with local architects and volunteer students.

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Ukraine's Refugee Crisis Worsens and the Profession Mobilizes in Support of Ukrainian Architects and Designers

Ukraine's Refugee Crisis Worsens and the Profession Mobilizes in Support of Ukrainian Architects and Designers - Featured Image
Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

On February 24th, 2022, Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine, triggering the largest and most rapidly unfolding refugee crisis in modern-day Europe. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), nearly 6.5 million people were displaced within Ukraine, and 3.4 million fled across international borders into neighboring countries since the onset of the war. The humanitarian crisis united the world in protest against the military violence targeting civilians and triggered an unprecedented global response in support of the aid efforts. The architecture community has also rallied in support of Ukraine, condemning the war, halting work in Russia, and supporting Ukrainian creative professionals by hiring their services.

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Shigeru Ban Architects Designs Wellness Retreat in Japan

Shigeru Ban Architects Designs Wellness Retreat in Japan - Featured Image
© Shigeru Ban Architects

Shigeru Ban Architects designed a wellness retreat on Japan’s Awaji Island. The project features a bridge-like wooden structure suspended above the lush landscape, providing visitors with a zen experience. The Vierendeel timber girder allows for a 21-metre span and a significant cantilever on one end of the 90-metre long structure. The Zenbo Seinei retreat, which will focus on meditation and healthy food, is currently under construction and is set to open this spring.

Shigeru Ban Architects and Philippe Monteil Design Refugee Shelters in Kenya with the Support of UN-Habitat

Since 2017, UN-Habitat, together with Shigeru Ban Architects, Philippe Monteil and the NGO Voluntary Architects' Network, developed several shelter typologies for a pilot neighborhood in Kalobeyei Settlement in Kenya. The Turkana Houses are meant to house South Sudanese and other refugees living in Northern Kenya who could not return to their original villages due to endless civil wars and conflicts. Unlike typical refugee shelters, these structures were meant to provide a home for long periods of displacement and the four typologies developed are informed by the extensive experience of Shigeru Ban Architects with disaster relief projects and the local building techniques of local people.

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