Japan’s Shigeru Ban wins Pritzker Architecture Prize

Paula David – Fourth Estate Cooperative Reporter

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – Japan’s innovative architect Shigeru Ban, 56, has won this year’s Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Known for his original and inventive approach to creating structures for private clients, Ban also takes pride in sustainable and environment-friendly designs that can be adapted in different places. A humanitarian, Ban’s work also extends to building disaster relief shelters to areas all over the world that were devastated by calamities.

According to a press release, Ban has piqued the Pritzker prize jury for his “experimental approach to common 
materials such as paper tubes and shipping containers, his structural innovations, and creative use 
of unconventional materials such as bamboo, fabric, paper, and composites of recycled paper fiber 
and plastics.”

Of his new feat, Ban said in a statement, “Receiving this prize is a great honor, and with it, I must be careful. I must continue to listen to the people I work for, in my private residential commissions and in my disaster relief work. I see this prize as encouragement for me to keep doing what I am doing — not to change what I am doing, but to grow.”

Pritzker Prize’s Tom Pritzker said, “Shigeru Ban’s commitment to humanitarian causes through his disaster relief work is an example for all. Innovation is not limited by building type and compassion is not limited by budget. Shigeru has made our world a better place.”

Some of Ban’s popular designs include France’s Centre Pompidou-Metz museum, New Zealand’s famous cardboard cathedral in Christchurch, the Naked House in Saitama, Japan, and Curtain Wall House in Tokyo.

The Tokyo-born architect has also built “low-cost but dignified” living quarters for victims of natural disasters in Rwanda, India, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Italy, and, currently, in the Philippines.

The Pritzker Architecture Prize was established in 1979 by the late Jay Pritzker and his wife Cindy to honor living architects from all over the world for their invaluable contribution to the field.

Ban, who is the seventh Japanese architect to be given the prize, will be honored in a ceremony on June 13 at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in The Netherlands.

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