shigeru ban has been awarded the 2014 pritzker architecture prize. born in 1957, the japanese architect is perhaps best known for his inventive, resourceful and humanitarian design in response to natural disasters. ‘receiving this prize is a great honor, and with it, I must be careful. I must continue to listen to the people I work for, in my private residential commissions and in my disaster relief work. I see this prize as encouragement for me to keep doing what I am doing – not to change what I am doing, but to grow,’ commented ban on receiving the award.


pritzker prize jury chairman, lord palumbo said, ’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. 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 a few’.


the citation from the pritzker prize jury underscores ban’s experimental approach to common materials such as paper tubes and shipping containers, his structural innovations, and creative use of unconventional materials such as bamboo, fabric, paper, and composites of recycled paper fiber and plastics.


the pritzker architecture prize was founded in 1979 by the late jay pritzker and his wife, cindy. the prize’s purpose is to annually honor a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision and commitment and which has produced significant contributions to humanity and the environment. the laureates receive a $100,000 USD grant and a bronze medallion.


see here for designboom’s coverage of shigeru ban’s work.


photo by shigeru ban architects / courtesy of the pritzker prize