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     Home > Culture and Society  >  2014-04-09 16:43:01
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Architecture's "nobel” goes to man who built "paper houses"

April 09,2014: The Japanese architect Shigeru Ban , the man who built "paper houses", has won the 2014 Pritzker Prize , considered the Nobel Prize of architecture. 56 year-old Shigeru Ban has also designed other buildings such as the Cathedral of Christ Church in New Zealand , and the Pompidou Centre in Metz, France; as well as emergency shelters for victims of natural disasters such as the tsunami in Fukushima, or refugees fleeing violence. Such constructions are made of cardboard and "low- tech", easy to source locally, have a low environmental impact, and can be built quickly.
The Hyatt Foundation, which funds the prestigious award, noted not only the "elegance and innovation" of this years' recipients' designs but also his "unrelenting humanitarian efforts" He "has travelled for 20 years to places of disasters, natural or man-made, to work with residents, volunteers and students to design and build recyclable, low cost shelters to help restore dignity to the victims. Shigeru Ban's "commitment to humanitarian causes is an example for all" and "has made our world a better place" said Hyatt Foundation. Accepting the award with thanks for the honor of the recognition, the architect - who has offices in Tokyo, New York and Paris - expressed his desire to "continue to listen to the people with whom he works, both in his private work , and in his work for the victims of disasters .
In 1995 Shigeru Ban founded an NGO called Voluntary Architects Network (VAN), which has intervened in many places hit by disasters in Japan. Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, China, Haiti, Italy, New Zealand and, most recently - the Philippines.
Source: AsiaNews


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