Shigeru Ban

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is a maestro of the slight yet seductive, known for his innovative work with paper, particularly recycled cardboard tubes. Ban was born in Tokyo, Japan and studied at Tokyo University of the Arts, and then at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Later he went to Cooper Union’s School of Architecture in New York City, where he trained under the legendary and experimental architect John Hejduk. Shigeru Ban’s practice has been praised for balancing between building exquisite private residences for those who can afford them (like his ‘paper,’ ‘furniture,’ ‘curtain wall,’ and ‘shutter’ houses) and offering design solutions to house the victims of man made and natural disasters. Ban’s elegant and innovative style prioritizes the concept of the building, incorporating the base structure into the total aesthetic experience of the architecture. His work is also ecologically minded, leaning towards materials that produce as little waste as possible. Ban’s background has a definite impact on his projects too; many themes and methods found in traditional Japanese architecture, such as shōji, and the idea of a ‘universal floor’ to allow continuity between all rooms in a house, appear constantly in his buildings. TASCHEN Books offer a number of publications on Ban, including monographs and a Basic Architecture Series title. TASCHEN’s books detail his most generous projects including emergency relief housing for disaster areas in Kobe and New Orleans, and shelters for Rwanda’s Byumba Refugee Camp. Also featured is his Tamedia headquarters in Zurich, the Aspen Art Museum, the Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch, the Japanese Pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hanover, the Takatori Catholic Church, and the Nomadic Museum. A member of the Voluntary Architects Network, and the winner of the most prestigious Pritzker Prize, Shigeru Ban, the paper architect, is a humanitarian and an expressive visionary, whose design philosophy continues to challenge the very principles of architecture.

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