Japanese architect’s red-letter day in the Rijksmuseum

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Shigeru Ban to receive 2014 Pritzker prize in Amsterdam

By Javier Pes. Web only
Published online: 25 March 2014

Shigeru Ban

The Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has been awarded the 2014 Pritzker prize for architecture, the jury announced yesterday. The award ceremony is due to take place at the Rijksmuseum on 13 June.

Among the buildings designed by Ban that were praised by the award’s judges is the Centre Pompidou-Metz, which the Tokyo-born architect co-designed with the French architect Jean de Gastines. While working on the Metz branch of Paris’s Centre Pompidou, the architect had a studio on the latter’s roof. Built using cardboard tubes, one of Ban’s favoured materials, the studio had an arched roof and was a mini-version of the satellite. “It was better to build a space on top of the Pompidou than rent elsewhere in Paris,” Ban said. The Pompidou-Metz, which opened in 2010, also has an elegant arched roof, inspired by a traditional Chinese hat.

Ban’s temporary structures include shelters for the victims of earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and war in countries including Japan, Turkey, India, China, New Zealand and the Philippines. He founded the Voluntary Architects’ Network to help after such natural disasters.

It has been a busy week for the Rijksmuseum, which features on the front pages of the New York Times and The Times of London today after the US president’s visit. Barack Obama held a press conference in front of The Nightwatch by Rembrandt on his way to a summit of world leaders yesterday.

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