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Materials man

China Daily/Agencies | Updated: 2014-03-27 08:34

Materials man

The exterior of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, a contemporary art museum in Metz, France, designed by Tokyo-born architect Shigeru Ban. Photos by Associated Press

From a curved roof made of timber inspired by a Chinese hat to disaster-relief shelters crafted from cardboard tubes, Shigeru Ban's designs have won wide acclaim - and now the Pritzker Prize. Associated Press reports in New York.

The Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who has combined a talent for innovative design and experimental use of everyday materials with extensive humanitarian efforts around the globe, has won the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Ban, 56, is the seventh architect from Japan to receive the honor, which will be officially awarded in June. For two decades, he has rushed to the site of disasters - including the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, and the 1994 conflict in Rwanda - to construct temporary relief shelters. He has often used cardboard paper tubes as building materials, since they are easily found, easily transported and can be water-proofed or fire-proofed.

Ban's relief work has not been limited to creating living shelters. In the wake of the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy, for example, he created a temporary auditorium so the city's musicians could continue to play. And after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, he created partitions for existing emergency shelters so families could have some privacy.

Outside his humanitarian work, Ban's noted projects have included the Centre Pompidou-Metz, a modern art museum in Metz, France, that features a remarkable curved roof made of timber - and inspired by a Chinese hat.

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