What led to Shigeru Ban winning the biggest architecture prize in the Industry? Pritzker Prize Review

Shigeru Ban recently claimed the Pritzker Architecture Prize, arguably the biggest architecture award in the industry, naming him the 2014 laureate and giving him even more credit than he had before.

His work can be seen in grand uses such as churches and concert halls, but the most striking buildings are created in disaster relief or refugee areas.

Shigeru is known for his innovative use of structure and materials, and one of his most noted tools is large cardboard tubes, which he often uses to create the walls and frame of his creations. In an interview with The Guardian in 2005, he said ‘When you finish a roll of tracing paper or fax paper, there are always paper tubes left over. They were so strong and so nice, so I kept them. Then I went to the factory where they made them, and I saw they could make any length and any diameter.’

Without seeing Shigeru’s work, there is little to attach this accolade to, so here are some of his more striking structures that fall under his name. The people and surroundings of them all seem to make the images even more powerful, and help you to see why he won.

The work of Shigeru Ban

Paper Log House, 1995, Kobe, Japan. Photo: Takanobu Sakuma

Paper Log House,
1995, Kobe, Japan.
Photo: Takanobu Sakuma

 

Paper Concert Hall, 2011, L'Aquila, Italy. Photo: Didier Boy de la Tour

Paper Concert Hall, 2011, L’Aquila, Italy.
Photo: Didier Boy de la Tour

 

 

Cardboard Cathedral, 2013, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Stephen Goodenough

Cardboard Cathedral, 2013, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Photo: Stephen Goodenough

 

Shigeru-Ban-Curtain-Wall-House-01

Curtain Wall House, 1995, Tokyo, Japan.
Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai

 

Shigeru-Ban-Naked-House-02

Naked House, 2000, Saitama, Japan.
Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai

 

Shigeru-Ban-Paper-Temporary-Studio-02

All images are from the official Pritzer Prize website and used with permission.

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