Perhaps the best way to get to know Shigeru Ban is through his work. We collected some of his most acclaimed works, from France to Japan.
Centre Pompidou in Metz (France)
One of Ban’s best-known designs is the Centre Pompidou in Metz, an annex of the Paris Centre Pompidou, which opened its doors in 2010 and where part of thecollection of the Musée national d’art moderne is on display. For this project, as for his other European projects, Ban collaborated with his French colleague Jean De Gastines. For the impressive wavy roof, Ban took inspiration from the shape of a Chinese bamboo hat. Indeed, the wooden framework of the roof reflects the woven reed structure of the hat. Some 16 kilometres of timber were used to construct the roof.
Swatch & Omega Campus, Biel (Switzerland)
In the Swiss city of Biel, Shigeru Ban designed a new headquarters for Swatch and Omega. The two well-known watch brands had an imposing campus of some 150,000 m2 built in their headquarters. The three buildings of that campus – Swatch’ s headquarters , theOmega Factory and the so-calledCité du Temps – took more than eight years to build. The result is one of the largest solid timber building structures in the world: an impressive and flowing structure of no less than 240 metres long.
Curtain Wall House, Tokyo (Japan)
One of Shigeru Ban’s most remarkable designs is a 179 m2 Japanese single-family house from 1995. The Curtain Wall House, the name says it all, is screened on the south and east sides of the building with two-storey-high curtains. The design looks very modern, but at the same time is a nod to traditional Japanese design elements like Shoji screens and Fusuma doors.
Mount Fuji World Heritage Center, Fujinomiya (Japan)
The Mount Fuji World Heritage Centre is a museum and visitor centre for the Fuji volcano, which plays an important role in Japanese culture. So important, in fact, that Shigeru Ban included the mountain in the design: in fact, the museum building is an inverted mirror image of Mount Fuji. Around the building, Ban designed a large pond, in which the wooden structure shimmers, just as Mount Fuji shines in the ocean. Incidentally, the wood used in the inverted pyramid structure came from cypress trees on the 3776-metre mountain.
La Seine Musicale, Paris (France)
Like the Centre Pompidou in Metz, La Seine Musicale on Paris’ Île Séguin
the result of a well-oiled collaboration between Shigeru Ban and his French companion Jean de Gastines. The concert hall with immense glass dome with wooden joins, opened its doors in 2017 with a performance by Bob Dylan. The ceiling and walls of the concert hall, which can seat 1150 people, are lined with cardboard tubes to promote acoustics in the auditorium.
Metal Shutter Houses, New York (United States)
The 11-storey Metal Shutter Houses in New York are a beautiful reflection of Shigeru Ban’s dynamic spirit. The building, which incidentally stands next to the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building, is notable for its moveable metal facade draped around the building like a removable shell. The penthouse was sold for a mere $12 million.
Nine Bridges Country Club, YeoJu-Gun (South Korea)
The Nine Bridges Country Club, a stone’s throw from the South Korean capital Seoul, consists of three buildings: a clubhouse for regular members, a VIP clubhouse and a third building for VIPs. The entrance hall of the main building is perhaps the most imposing space. There, 21 massive wooden pillars rise from the ground like trees.