Saturday, Mar 7, 2015Saturday, Mar 7, 2015

Shigeru Ban, who builds temporary shelters, awarded the Pritzker, architecture's top prize

Published on Mar 25, 2014 11:24 AM
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban visiting the Centre Pompidou-Metz museum in the eastern city of Metz, France, in 2010. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

New York (Reuters) - Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, noted for his airy modernist designs and humanitarian work, has won the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize, the top award in the field, organisers said on Monday.

Ban, 56, is the second consecutive architect from Japan to win the US$100,000 prize, and the third architect in the past five years from the country as well. Last year's winner was Toyo Ito.

The Pritzker Architecture Prize was created by the late Jay A. Pritzker and his wife, Cindy, in 1979 to honour the world's most innovative architects.

Ban is perhaps best distinguished for his breezy, economical designs such as the Centre Pompidou museum in Metz, France, with its undulating white roof supported by wooden latticework. His works are known for using low-cost materials that are often locally sourced. "Shigeru Ban is a force of nature, which is entirely appropriate in the light of his voluntary work for the homeless and dispossessed in areas that have been devastated by natural disasters," Peter Palumbo, Pritzker jury chairman, said in a statement. "But he also ticks the several boxes for qualification to the Architectural Pantheon - a profound knowledge of his subject with a particular emphasis on cutting-edge materials and technology; total curiosity and commitment; endless innovation; an infallible eye; an acute sensibility - to name but a few," Palumbo added.

If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here