Shigeru Ban

Shigeru Ban

Shigeru Ban (born in Tokyo in 1957) is an internationally recognized Japanese architect. He has been a pioneer in applying the principles of sustainable development to architectural design. Ban’s architecture emphasises refinement and a highly developed innovativeness, especially in materials technologies. His original and bold approach to the use of paper, cardboard and bamboo as construction materials, combined with a clean-lined and contemporary architectural aesthetic, has made him one of the most important architects of our time. 

Shigeru Ban studied at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and later on in the Cooper Union’s School of Architecture. Ban graduated in 1984 after which he started his own practice in 1985.

Ban can be described as a modernist, experimentalist as well as a rationalist. The architect is most famous for his innovative work with paper tubes as a material for building construction. Ban’s architecture has strong influences from his interest in humanitarianism. Ban is concerned with building as a whole, and is not interested only in so-called beautiful architecture: providing assistance in coping with catastrophes is just as important to him. Ban’s DIY Refugee shelters (used for example in Japan after the Kobe earthquake, in Turkey and in Rwanda) have proved very effective for disaster relief housing. Ban knows that simple solutions are often the most difficult to develop –especially when using inexpensive materials.

Ban’s major works include among many other things the Japanese Pavilion at the Hannover Expo 2000 and the new Centre Georges Pompidou in Metz, which is expected to be completed in 2009. In 2007, Shigeru Ban designed the Artek Pavilion, “The Space of Silence”, for the Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Ban’s 10-UNIT SYSTEM for Artek is launched in Milan 2009.