After Hernán Díaz Alonso’s introduction, Shigeru Ban describes how designing an Alvar Aalto exhibition in 1984 led to the discovery of tubes made of recycled paper as an accessible, economical, sturdy and sustainable material for building. He describes their application, as well as other sustainable materials, in structures including:
• Odawara festival main hall & East gate (1990)
• Paper house, Yamanishi (1995)
• Japan pavilion, Expo 2000, Hanover (2000)
• Nomadic museum for Gregory Colbert, New York-Santa Monica-Tokyo (2005)
• Picture window house, Izu Peninsula / Veneer Grid Roof house, Chiba (2001)
• Villa Vista, Weligama Bay (2010)
• Swatch Japan, Tokyo (2008)
• Metal shutter house, New York (2010)
• Paper temporary studio, Paris (2004)
• Centre Pompidou-Metz (2010)
• Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Clubhouse, Yeoji, Gyeonggi (2009)
• Tamedia office building, Zurich (2013)
• Aspen Art Museum (2014)
• Oita Prefecture Art Museum (2015)
• La Seine Musicale, Île Seguin (2017)
• Mount Fuji World Heritage Centre (2017)
• Swatch headquarters, Biel (2019)
• Art museum in Tainan, Taiwan (2020)
Ban describes how his work in disaster relief comes out of a conviction that architects have a responsibility to build not only for the privileged, but for everyone. He argues that architects are especially responsible to provide relief in earthquake, typhoon and flood disasters, where most harm is caused by buildings. He has seen how structures originally built as temporary fixes, become long-term homes and facilities when they are embraced and cared-for by their inhabitants.
He describes shelters, schools, churches and other projects for disaster relief built in Kobe, Japan (1995); Byumba Refugee Camp, Rwanda (1999); Kaynasli, Turkey (2000); Bhuj, Gurarat, India (2001); Krinda, Hambantota, Sri Lanka (2005); Chengdu, Sichuan, China (2008); L’Aquila, Italy (2011); Haiti (2010); Christchurch, New Zealand (2013); Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines (2014); and Kathmandu, Nepal (2015).
Ban also describes deployments of a partition system designed to provide privacy in mass shelters in Tohoku Region, Japan (2011); Kumamoto, Japan (2016); and Chelm, Poland (2022).