Shigeru Ban to design shelters for Nepal earthquake victims

Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban is to design shelters to aid those made homeless by the recent earthquakes in Nepal.

The Japanese architect has already assisted disaster survivors in Japan, Rwanda, India, and Sri Lanka – projects which helped secure his award last year.

Now he will be building emergency shelters to aid the displaced victims after two major earthquakes left more than 8,500 dead and tens of thousands homeless.

In his humanitarian work he has used unconventional materials like cardboard and paper tubes to create temporary homes, churches, and even performances halls.

The Pritzker jury said:  “Through excellent design, in response to pressing challenges, Shigeru Ban has expanded the role of the profession; he has made a place at the table for architects to participate in the dialogue with governments and public agencies, philanthropists, and the affected communities.

“His sense of responsibility and positive action to create architecture of quality to serve society’s needs, combined with his original approach to these humanitarian challenges, make [him] an exemplary professional.”

The UK-based architectural charity Article 25 has also announced a fundraising drive to help rebuild schools, as nine out of 10 in Kathmandu were damaged or destroyed.

Managing director Robin Cross said: “The devastating impact of the earthquake in Nepal is a sad reminder of the crucial importance of safe and resilient buildings. And it is a reminder that it is not earthquakes that kill people, but buildings that kill people,

“Article 25 can mobilize design and construction skills from the UK and put them to work where they will make the greatest difference.”