Japanese architect Shigeru Ban Elevates Simple Materials, Wins 2014 Pritzker

Shigura Ban's "Cardboard Cathedral" in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Shigura Ban’s “Cardboard Cathedral” in Christchurch, New Zealand.

This year’s  Pritzker Prize, arguably the world’s most prestigious architecture award, was awarded to Shigeru Ban.  The 57-year-old Japanese architect works almost entirely with simple, low cost materials like paper and cardboard, building symbols of hope in areas of the world impacted by natural disaster.

In the aftermath of the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, Ban built temporary homes for Vietnamese refugees using beer crates filled with sandbags. In 2011, after an earthquake and tsunami devastated large parts of Japan, Ban crafted homes from shipping containers. Last year he erected a cathedral made out of cardboard paper tubes for the people of Christchurch, New Zealand.

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