Shigeru Ban

Challenging the system with inventive repurposing of everyday materials is just the beginning of architect Shigeru Ban’s genius
Shigeru Ban
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban was green before the word became a movement. He challenges accepted notions of architecture, designing houses without walls and exhibition spaces from paper, cardboard and shipping containers.

A new limited-edition monograph by book publisher Taschen features every work of this innovative, significant and sustainable architect. Ban creates remarkable structures - Centre Pompidou-Metz in France last year, his largest to date - but still finds time to design refugee housing and emergency relief shelter for areas from Kobe to New Orleans and most recently Haiti. Often using paper or cardboard tubes as a structural element - he calls cardboard “improved wood” - Ban’s designs give new meaning to the term “Paper Architect”; the Japan pavilion he created for the Hanover Expo 2000 with paper tubes and paper canopy was recycled to pulp after the event, and his Tokyo gallery for fashion designer Issey Miyake had cardboard pillars and chairs.

Limited to 200 numbered and signed copies, each book comes delivered in a clamshell box, with custom-made cover by Shigeru Ban, inspired by the roof design of his Centre Pompidou-Metz. Now all Ban has left to achieve is overdue recognition by way of the prestigious Pritzker Prize. - Sophie Wong
Miyake Design Studio Gallery, Shibuya, Tokyo, 1994, Hiroyuki Hirai — Centre Pompidou-Metz, Artefactory