Humanitarian Shigeru Ban Snags Pritzker Architecture Prize

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Shigeru Ban challenges our attachment to permanent architecture with temporary housing masterpieces crafted from even more transient materials, and this year the architect scored one of the highest honors in the field.

Ban is known for his humanitarian work through art, designing shelters after community-crippling natural disasters in areas like India, China, Rwanda, Turkey and more. The Prizker Prize jury commented, ““His buildings provide shelter, community centers and spiritual places for those who have suffered tremendous loss and destruction. When tragedy strikes, he is often there from the beginning.”

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Ban responded humbly to news of the award, noting “I’m trying to understand the meaning of this encouragement It’s not the award for the achievement. I have not made a great achievement.

Famed designs by Ban include Naked House in Japan featuring clear corrugated plastic, a footbridge in the south of France made partly of cardboard tubes and recycled paper, and a rebuilt sanctuary after the destruction of Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand.

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The Pritzker Architecture Prize honors a living architect/s whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.

Details/Photos courtesy of:

The New York Times and

Roland Halbe/Centre Georges Pompidou-Metz, via EPA

The Japan Architect/Shinkenchiku-sha Company

Hiroyuki Hirai

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