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Shigeru Ban
By Matilda McQuaid

April 11, 2006 /
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1ban.jpgPhoto © Hirooyuki Hirai

This comprehensive publication includes 12 new projects Ban has designed since 2000.

Because of his radical approach to materials and social problems, combined with the drama and delicacy of his buildings, Ban is fast becoming one of the world's most influential architects.

Based in Japan and one of an emerging generation of young, world-class architects, Shigeru Ban (b. 1957) designs and builds graceful, serene structures using modest materials such as cardboard, paper tubes, bamboo, and prefabricated wood. His buildings are sometimes soaring and birdlike, sometimes simple, grounded, and evocative of the Japanese aesthetic, but always they are integrated with, and respectful of, their surrounding environment.

Ban's temporary structure "Paper Arch" was erected in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City during the summer of 2000. The 30 feet high latticed paper-tube arch spanned the entire width of the garden creating a sense of enclosure and sanctuary without losing the drama of openness to neighbouring towers or the sky above.

2ban.jpgPhoto © Shigeru Ban Architects

He has designed projects at both ends of the client spectrum. Following his invention of Paper Log Houses as a response to the 1995 earthquake in Japan, Ban consulted to the United nations High Commissioner for Refugees for five years and founded the Voluntary Architects' Network (VAN), whose international membership develop architectural solutions in humanitarian crises.

His "Curtain Wall House" in Tokyo (1994),  a glass-and-steel house where privacy is controlled by means of monumental, two-story-high curtains along two glass facades that can be opened or closed, was a favorite entry in the Museum of Modern Art's "Un-Private House" exhibition in 1999.

3ban.jpgPhoto: Hirooyuki Hirai
 
4ban.jpg
Photo: Hirooyuki Hirai
His "Naked House" (2000) won Best House in the World at the World Architecture Awards.

5ban.jpgPhoto: Hirooyuki Hirai

He collaborated with German architect Frei Otto to design the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hannover, a recyclable, organic-shaped structure of paper stretched over a paper tube armature.

6ban.jpgPhoto: Hirooyuki Hirai

In 2002 Ban completed the Paper Art Museum and the "Picture Window House" in Shizuoka, Japan, as well as the Atsushi Imai Memorial Gymnasium in Akita, Japan.

7ban.jpgPhoto: Hirooyuki Hirai

8ban.jpgPhoto: Hirooyuki Hirai

9ban.jpgShigeru Ban
Photo: Hirooyuki Hirai

In 2003 he added the "Glass Shutter House" and "Shutter House for a Photographer" in Tokyo, Japan to his long list of projects. He is currently working on a number of domestic projects, including a library for Seikei University in suburban Tokyo.

This year construction started on Ban's winning design for the new branch of the Pompidou Center in France. The opening of this first branch of the French cultural institution is planned for 2007.

10ban.jpgPhoto courtesy Centre Pompidou, France

Ban was included in the 2000 and 2002 Venice Biennale and was a member of the Think team of architects selected in February 2003 as one of two finalist teams to compete for the commission to design the new World Trade Center site in New York.

Designed in Japan in collaboration with Ban the book, divided into sections that reflect the architect's approach to materials, presents 32 projects illustrated with colour photographs, plans, and sketches.   A foreword by German architect Frei Otto, with whom Ban has collaborated for several years, introduces the book.

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Publisher: Phaidon Press

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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