Japanese architect Shigeru Ban was awarded the prestigious Pritzger Prize in March of this year.  This is the highest award bestowed in the worldwide architecture profession, and is given to one person each year.

Paper Partition System

Paper Partition System provides a sense of privacy after earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011

Here is a New York Times article on the prize and the architect:  ARTICLE.  It also includes a slide show of Mr. Ban’s work.

I shared an article on the architect and his work back in October 2013 with a post in Best CAD Tips, CLICK HERE to see my earlier post.

Shigeru Ban’s work is notable for his emphasis on building temporary shelters and community buildings in areas around the world which have recently experienced natural disasters. It is also notable for its use of easily available, inexpensive materials such as cardboard tubes and shipping containers.

I admire Mr. Ban and his approach to creating meaningful architecture.  In addition to the socially conscious and humanitarian components of his work, the structures are beautiful and have an honesty and humility about them that are inspiring.

"Cardboard Cathedral" designed by Shigeru Ban

“Cardboard Cathedral” designed by Shigeru Ban

I also commend the Pritzger organization for having the courage and vision to recognize Mr. Ban and his down-to-earth, unpretentious, people-oriented work. Too often the recognition and glory seem to go to architects who create massive, intrusive, attention-grabbing monuments.  I hope that this award is a sign that we are progressing to a phase where the design of a building is valued less for how big a “statement” it makes, and more for how much it actually helps and honors the people who interact with it.

Three cheers to Shigeru Ban and his selection to be the recipient of  this year’s Pritzger Prize.