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Voluntary Architects' Network: The Latest Architecture and News

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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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 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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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.”

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Shigeru Ban's Nepalese Emergency Shelters to be Built from Rubble

Shigeru Ban's Nepalese Emergency Shelters to be Built from Rubble - Featured Image
© VAN, courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects

Shigeru Ban Architects has released images of their first emergency shelter prototype designed for Nepal. Planned to be built by the end of August, the simple shelter is designed to be easily assembled by almost anyone. Using connecting modular wooden frames (3ft x 7ft or 90cm x 210cm), salvaged rubble bricks are used to infill the wall's cavities while paper tube trussing supports the roof. This, as Shigeru Ban says, will allow for "quick erection and nearly immediate inhabitation."

House P / Heiderich Architekten

House P / Heiderich Architekten - Houses, DoorHouse P / Heiderich Architekten - Houses, Stairs, Handrail, Column, LightingHouse P / Heiderich Architekten - Houses, Deck, Facade, Chair, TableHouse P / Heiderich Architekten - Houses, Facade, DoorHouse P / Heiderich Architekten - More Images+ 28

Dortmund, Germany
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area :  330
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year :  2012