Shigeru Ban discusses his projects in relation to concepts of transparency of space. Ban compares Mies Van der Rohe’s visual transparency through the use of curtain walling to that of physical transparency used in traditional Japanese architecture. He goes on to describe how his projects aim to expand the physical limits of architecture and create flexible spaces.
Ban discusses the use of alternative intelligent structural solutions in his practice of architecture. Ban presents a project for an office building in Osaka that uses wood as a fire retardant material and the Pompidou museum for Metz that uses laminated bamboo as a structural material. He goes on to describe several of his paper tube structure projects including the Japanese pavilion for Hanover expo that uses recycled paper tubes, paper honeycomb and a hybrid of wood and paper as a structural material.
Ban presents projects that deal with relief solutions for disaster sites in Turkey, India, Japan and Sri Lanka. Ban’s involvement with the UN ignited him to develop alternative structures using paper tubes and recycled locally-sourced materials. The solutions for sheltering are flexible and adapt to the specific region and specific needs, from temporary interiors, to temporary roofing and structures, to permanent communities.