BEIRUT

Culture

Pritzker winner builds World Cup pavilion at embassy in Japan

  • Innovative Japanese Architect Shigeru Ban.

TOKYO: In a case of art mirroring life, a pavilion designed by a prize-winning architect to celebrate the World Cup is still not ready, just days before the first ball is kicked.

Shigeru Ban's cardboard construction in the grounds of the Brazilian embassy in Tokyo was due to be finished on Monday.

But ferocious downpours that have pounded Japan in the past few days in a particularly severe start to the rainy season have prevented work on the pavilion. Press who turned up for the preview on Tuesday were treated to the sight of a job half done.

Undeterred, Ban, who is to receive the Pritzker Prize 2014 in Amsterdam on Friday, was at the embassy to explain to journalists his pride in the construction, made of recycled fibreboard tubes.

"The size of the project does not determine the importance," he told AFP.

With just days to go before the opening match in Brazil, workers there are racing to finish the stadiums and infrastructure the tournament will use.

When an AFP team last weekend visited Sao Paulo's new Corinthians Arena where Brazil will take on Croatia on Thursday, the finishing touches were still being put to the stadium.

Ban has made a name for himself creating temporary buildings from cardboard and other readily-available materials, especially for deployment in disaster zones.

He has previously helped provide shelter for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, created a church after the 1995 earthquake in Kobe and built a temporary cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the stone original was flattened by a quake.

He also built temporary classrooms with paper columns for children hit by the Sichuan earthquake in China in 2008.

But he makes no secret of the fact that he also takes commissions from clients, some of them wealthy.

"I have to make some money," he said.

He is determined that the Pritzker Prize -- sometimes called the Nobel of architecture -- will alter nothing about his philosophy and his work.

"I do not need to change," he says. "I will continue to do the same thing, working in disaster areas as well as for the privileged. And I shall continue to teach.

"I do not want to change, even though it is such an important award."

The pavilion is expected to be finished on Wednesday, and will be open to the public throughout the World Cup.

Ban will be in the Netherlands later this week for the prize ceremony, where he will receive a bronze medallion and a $100,000 grant.

He is the second successive Japanese winner of the Pritzker, which was won in 2013 by Toyo Ito.

 
Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

In a case of art mirroring life, a pavilion designed by a prize-winning architect to celebrate the World Cup is still not ready, just days before the first ball is kicked.

Undeterred, Ban, who is to receive the Pritzker Prize 2014 in Amsterdam on Friday, was at the embassy to explain to journalists his pride in the construction, made of recycled fibreboard tubes.

The pavilion is expected to be finished on Wednesday, and will be open to the public throughout the World Cup.

Ban will be in the Netherlands later this week for the prize ceremony, where he will receive a bronze medallion and a $100,000 grant.

He is the second successive Japanese winner of the Pritzker, which was won in 2013 by Toyo Ito.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here