Projects 34 & 35
Shigeru Ban Architects
The inventive work of Shigeru Ban
25 March – 1 July 2017
Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation presents Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s first Australian project, The inventive work of Shigeru Ban.
SCAF’s exhibition shines a spotlight on Shigeru Ban’s pioneering and resourceful designs and importantly his dedication to humanitarian efforts around the world. For the first time SCAF’s interior and exterior spaces feature the work of a single practitioner. Installed in the Courtyard Garden are two of Shigeru Ban’s signature disaster relief shelters; one of his first from Kobe (1995) positioned in comparison to his latest disaster relief design for the Ecuador earthquake (2016).
The interior gallery presentation highlights key ‘stepping stones’ from Shigeru Ban Architects’ oeuvre, including a 1:15 scale model of the 2000 Japan Pavilion in Hannover, Germany, a 1:1 scale model of the 2011 Paper Partition System and model joint details from a range of projects. An immersive version of the 2013 Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand features as the centrepiece.
Temporary architecture, in disaster zones, is Ban’s calling card. For over 20 years, the 2014 winner of the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s Nobel, has best been known for his humanitarian work. From Rwanda to Japan to Nepal he has turned cheap, locally sourced materials—sometimes even debris—into disaster-relief housing that “house both the body and spirit”.
Ban’s simple and dignified architectural works have provided relief to victims of mass displacement, tsunamis, earthquakes, and mega disasters, both natural and manmade. His long history of humanitarian design started with his UN consultancy work in the 1995 Rwanda conflict, where he first proposed shelters made from paper tubes. Over time, he carried his paper tube concept to other disaster relief projects from a “Paper Log House” designed for the community in Kobe to temporary housing for the victims of the 2011 Onagawa earthquake. His creative use of common and often unconventional materials in disaster relief projects expanded to include bamboo, fabric, paper, and recycled composites.
Aside from shelter housing, Shigeru Ban Architects have created major cultural institutions including Centre Pompidou-Metz, France and soon-to-be-opened Mount Fuji World Heritage Centre, Japan; the Cité musicale de l’Île Seguin, Paris, France; and various other commercial projects, academic buildings (Seikei University Library, Japan), private residences and exhibitions.
Shigeru Ban studied at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York. He is one of the few notable Japanese architects to study abroad. In 1985, Ban established his own firm – Shigeru Ban Architects – that now has offices in Tokyo, Paris and New York.
Shigeru Ban is the recipient of multiple awards, including Grande Médaille d’Or de l’Académie d’architecture (2004); Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture (2005); Grand Prize of the Architectural Institute of Japan (2009); Honorary Doctorate, Technische Universität München (2009); L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (le grade d’officier) (2010); Auguste Perret Prize (2011); Art Prize, the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (2012); L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (le grade de commandeur) (2014); and the Prizker Architecture Prize (2014).
Ban served as a Professor at Keio University (2001-2008), as Visiting Professor of Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Cornell University (2010), and is currently a Professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design and also guest Professor at Keio University from 2015.
Shigeru Ban’s double site SCAF Projects 34 & 35 in the Courtyard Garden and gallery space conclude the Foundation’s decade-long programme.