Pritzker Prize Laureate Shigeru Ban has announced plans to contribute to emergency relief efforts in Nepal after the April 25 earthquake reduced cities to rubble, killed more than 7,000, and left thousands homeless.
Architect Shigeru Ban has been developing and deploying emegency shelters since the early 1990s.
In the short term, Ban’s firm and his relief organization Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN) will distribute simple tents—supplemented with plastic sheets donated by contractors to serve as wall partitions—and assemble them onsite as temporary shelter and medical aid stations.
As conditions in the country begin to stabilize, VAN says it will team up with local universities, students, and architects to build other types of transitional housing and community facilities, working with prototypes Ban’s firm has developed in other emergency situations. The organization expects to start building permanent structures in the coming months.
“There are some projects which we had done and we will approach with our experiences for the recovery of Nepal,” the firm wrote on its website.
Ban has been designing emergency structures since the early 1990s, first deploying shelters in Rwanda in 1994 after civil unrest and genocide, and the next year in Kobe, Japan after a devestating earthquake. He has since deployed emergency shelters all over the world, using simple materials including corrugated plastic and paper tubes, with projects in Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, China, Haiti, Japan, and New Zealand.
In the meantime, Ban is asking that people support relief efforts by donating to the Voluntary Architects’ Network.