Shigeru Ban, an architect known for both high-end and humanitarian projects using environmentally sensitive and recycled materials, has won this year's Pritzker Architecture Prize it was announced Monday.
On the South Fork, he is best known for designing one of the Houses at Sagaponac, Furniture House 5, with his American colleague Dean Maltz. According to their website, the house is formed of modular "floor-to-ceiling furniture units that act as elements of structure, spatial division, and storage."
The development was conceived by Harry J. Brown, known as "Coco," a real estate mogul who teamed up with Richard Meier to commission designs for more than 30 houses for the 56-acre site in north Sagaponack. Those who agreed to plan houses for the site included other star-chitects such as Richard Rogers, Philip Johnson and Zaha Hadid. Brown died in 2005.
Mr. Ban's humanitarian efforts have included designing temporary housing for refuges of disasters and wars, beginning with Rwanda in 1994 and in following years in places such as Japan, India, Haiti, Italy, and currently in the Philippines, according to the Pritzker announcement. His designs incorporate materials such as paper, shipping containers, cardboard tubes, corrugated plastic, beer crates, and sand bags. Exterior walls might be formed out of clear plastic curtains, glass shutters, or may not exist at all.
Although he is a professor of architecture in his native Japan, Mr. Ban, who is 56, was educated in the United States at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the Cooper Union in New York. In 1995, he founded the Voluntary Architects' Network to coordinate the efforts of victims, students, and other volunteers to build relief structures at the sites of disasters.