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Shigeru Ban Architect Receives the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Published: Thursday, March 27, 2014

Shigeru Ban  Photo by Shigeru Ban Architects

Shigeru Ban -  Photo by Shigeru Ban Architects

Shigeru Ban, a Tokyo-born, 56-year-old architect with offices in Tokyo, Paris and New York is the recipient of this year's Pritzker Prize.

For 20 years, Ban has travelled to sites of natural and man-made disasters around the world, to work with local citizens, volunteers and students, to design and construct simple, dignified, low-cost, recyclable shelters and community buildings for the disaster victims.

Speaking from his Paris office, Shigeru Ban said, “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.“

In all parts of his practice, Ban finds a wide variety of design solutions, often based around structure, materials, view, natural ventilation and light, and a drive to make comfortable places for the people who use them. From private residences and corporate headquarters, to museums, concert halls and other civic buildings, Ban is known for the originality, economy, and ingeniousness of his works, which do not rely on today’s common high-tech solutions.

He designed  a seven-story headquarters for the Swiss media company Tamedia with the main structural system entirely in timber. The wooden beams interlock, requiring no metal joints.

Photo by Shigeru Ban Architects

Tamedia Building, 2013, Zurich, Switzerland
Photo by Didier Boy de la Tour

For the Centre Pompidou-Metz, in France, Ban designed an airy, undulating latticework of wooden strips to form the roof, which covers the complex museum program underneath and creates an open and accessible public plaza.

Photo by Didier Boy de la Tour

Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2010, France
Photo by Didier Boy de la Tour

For more information on Shigeru Ban visit www.pritzkerprize.com

Pritzker Award 
Each year the Pritzker goes to a living architect whose work has contributed to humanity and the built environment. Mr. Ban will receive a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion to be awarded on June 13 in a ceremony at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Previous winners of the prize have included Philip Johnson, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster. A complete list is available at pritzkerprize.com. 

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