Long before ecology and sustainability became an issue, Shigeru Ban was researching recyclable building materials that are less harmful to the environment and surroundings. His research included bamboo as a building material. Through his experiments, he discovered as early as 1986 that cardboard tubes as a building material are much sturdier than expected, and in 1990 he put up his first – but by no means his last – building out of cardboard. He would also engage in disaster zones from then on.
Because of its focus on sustainability
and ecology, wood has long been a material
that Ban often uses in his designs.
Love of wood
Because of his focus on sustainability and ecology, Ban has been using wood as a material in his designs for many years. He chose a wooden frame for the Swatch & Omega Campus in Switzerland, and the Centre Pompidou in Metz also has a roof with a striking wooden structure. BAN, the new landmark for Nieuw Zuid, will also catch the eye with striking wooden facade accents.
Following Ban, by the way, a lot of architects have developed a renewed interest in wood as a building material. Some say wood is the material of the future or the new concrete. This is undoubtedly due to its unique sustainable qualities. By the way, the timber used in construction projects today is the so-called CLT cross laminated timber, a technological innovation that has turned a natural material like wood into a strong industrial product. A kind of ultra-strong plywood that rivals steel in strength, but is much lighter and easier to handle.