Japanese architect Shigeru Ban was officially selected as the 2014 winner of the Pritzker Prize. Often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture, the Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to “honor a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” Shigeru Ban is the thirty-eighth recipient of the much desired architecture distinction and its seventh Japanese recipient.
Taking simple materials, including paper and cardboard, and creating life-changing structures for people impacted by natural disasters is what Shigeru Ban is known for doing best. The Cardboard Cathedral, opened to the public in August 2013 and designed pro bono is his most famous work yet. Here is a statement from the Pritzker Jury 2014, justifying the prize: “Shigeru Ban is a tireless architect whose work exudes optimism. Where others may see insurmountable challenges, Ban sees a call to action. Where others might take a tested path, he sees the opportunity to innovate. He is a committed teacher who is not only a role model for younger generation, but also an inspiration.” How would you comment on this year’s Pritzker Prize nominees and winners?