Disaster Response Architect Wins 2014 Pritzker Prize

Shigeru Ban, 56, has designed lasting structures after the Kobe earthquake and the Rwanda genocide, and he founded the Voluntary Architects' Network to respond to disasters worldwide.

The internationally known architect Shigeru Ban has been awarded the 2014 Pritzker Architectural Prize, honoring his work to respond to disasters. For two decades, the Tokyo-born architect, age 56, has worked with local agencies, volunteers, and students to design low-cost shelters and community buildings for disaster victims.

"Receiving this prize is a great honor, and with it, 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," he said after receiving the news in his Paris office.

Ban is known for using recyclable cardboard paper tubes for columns, walls, and beams, and for designing structures that can be made with little or no waste.

He founded VAN -- the Voluntary Architects' Network -- to respond to disasters worldwide, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars, and he has conducted this work in Japan, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, China, Haiti, Italy, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Pritzker Prize jury chairman, The 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 but a few."

Download Center

  • Your Guide to Environmental Metrics that Drive Performance

    Translating sustainability into action starts with implementing the right metrics to assess your environmental risk and performance. Learn how to design metrics that improve your decision-making process and drive enterprise performance.

  • Unpacking ESG: 6 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

    Environmental and Sustainability experts from Arcadis and Cority answer 6 of the most pressing questions EHS professionals have about getting started with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

  • Streamline Your Air Emissions Management

    See how consolidating all your emissions management functions into one centralized system can help you streamline your operations, more easily maintain compliance, and achieve greater time and cost savings.

  • A Crash Course in Creating the Right Environmental Scoring System

    Learn how to develop the right environmental scoring system so you can easily benchmark performance across all your facilities and gain a holistic view of your environmental programs.

  • Industry Safe