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the ‘metal shutter house’, located at 524 west 19th street, in manhattan, new york,
is shigeru ban's first condominium residences in the US. the facade motorized
perforated metal shutters serve as light-modulating privacy screen.
the roll-up nature of the facade and the pivoting glass windows open completely,
thus blurring the boundary between the inside and outside
was born in 1957 in tokyo, japan.
he studied at the southern california institute of architecture
from 1977 - 80, later furthering his studies at the cooper union
school of architecture from 1980 graduating in 1984.
he began his career working for japanese architect arata isozaki
before establishing his own private practice in 1985. ban became
internationally recognized for his work with paper and recycled
cardboard tubes which he used to create temporary structures
for victims of the kobe earthquake in 1995. that same year he
established NGO: VAN (voluntary architects network).
he has taught at numerous schools including the tama art
university, yokohama national university, nihon university,
columbia university and keio university. throughout his career
he has received many awards including the 'best young architect
of the year' award from the japan institute of architecture in 1997,
as well as the world architecture award for his design of the
'japan pavillion', 2001 and the 'thomas jefferson medal in
architecture' in 2005.
designboom met shigeru ban
in milan, italy on april 22nd, 2009..
db: do you have a favorite material ?
I particularly like steel, but paper too can be strong
we need to get rid of material prejudices.
db: who would you like to design something for?
actually I'm interested in designing anything from a chair to
a museum, a refugee house to an airport - anything.
I don't have any particular person I want to work with.
I do not choose anyone like refugees or poor people,
I have projects which come to me.
I have seen the works of alvar aalto and where he has
curated every little detail inside his house.
I would like to design everything inside of a building,
but usually we architects do not receive enough of these
projects to be able to do this.
read the interview in full