Shigeru Ban Given Princess of Asturias Award for Concord

Antonio La Gioia
7. 7月 2022
Shigeru Ban (Photo courtesy of the Princess of Asturias Foundation)

After being named recipient for the 2022 Princess of Asturias Award for Concord — one of eight being given out in this 42nd year of the awards — Shigeru Ban declared: "I am really pleasured with such a prestigious award for my relief activities through architectural projects, which I have continued since the year of 1994, for refugees and for disasters occurred all over the world." He also made specific reference to the situation in Ukraine: "With continuing further ongoing supports for Ukraine refugees, I will strive to do my best with this great award and would like to link these supports to the next stage of post-war reconstruction." Together with his NGO VAN - Voluntary Architects' Network, the architect is giving his support to refugees of the war through his project PPS (Paper Partition System) that allows the rapid construction of spaces with a certain degree of privacy inside the public buildings used for the reception of the refugees.

The prize jury, which met in Oviedo, Spain, on June 23, emphasized the architect's "outstanding contribution and solidarity in providing shelter which offers decent conditions to people in precarious situations as a result of social or natural emergencies, or situations of conflict. At all times guided by humanitarian values and with the contribution of volunteers, his work stands as an example of sustainable architecture via the use of recycled materials which has earned him widespread international recognition." It is an award for the social utility of architecture, something that unfortunately we are not used to seeing recognized often enough.

The Princess of Asturias Awards are given annually by the Princess of Asturias Foundation, a private non-profit institution founded in 1980. They are intended to reward scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work carried out by individuals, institutions, groups of people or institutions in the international arena. They are awarded in eight categories: Arts, Communication and Humanities, Social Sciences, Sports, Literature, International Cooperation, Scientific and Technical Research, and Concord.