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Shigeru Ban Paperback – 20 Feb 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (20 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714846295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714846293
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 2.5 x 29.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 633,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'For all his experimentation, Ban is not simply a technician. He is just as interested in spatial concepts and social projects. It's this range and his lateral thinking that come across in the wonderful book, leaving one in no doubt that Ban, at only 46, is probably the most dazzling figure on Japan's architectural scene today.' (Royal Institute of British Architects Journal)

'Phaidon’s single architect monographs are a delectable way to take in an architect’s oeuvre, and this new book on Shigeru Ban is no exception.' (Wallpaper*)

'As a record of an important body of work, this book can be thoroughly recommended … elegantly designed … and beautifully printed. The range of projects is sufficiently varied to sustain coverage at this length.' (Building Design)

'The book also rightly presents Ban not simply as a Japanese architect but as a 'global architect'.' (AA (Architectural Association) Files)

'Handsome … an excellent introduction to the work of Ban … the colour reproductions of the buildings are excellent.' (Resurgence)

'This fittingly cardboard-covered monograph presents Ban’s extraordinary architecture as well as detailed technical data on the structural capabilities of various paper products. Ban’s material research is as impressive as his designs are sublime.' (The Architect’s Newspaper)

'This new monograph on Shigeru Ban’s oeuvre is a valuable reference for likeminded architects.' (Architecture)

'A volume … as straightforward and elegant as the thirty-two projects portrayed within.' (Journal of Architectural Education)

About the Author

Matilda McQuaid is Exhibitions Curator and Head of the Textiles Department at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, and until 2001, was Associate Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She is the author of numerous essays on architecture, textiles and fibre art in journals and museum publications, including a contribution to Envisioning Architecture: Drawings from the Museum of Modern Art (Museum of Modern Art, 2002), which she also edited.

Frei Otto is an eminent architect based in Germany, who has pioneered research in lightweight membranes and innovative structures. He founded the Development Centre for Lightweight Construction in Berlin in 1957, which later became the Institute for Lightweight Structures in Stuttgart. He collaborated with Shigeru Ban on the Japan Pavilion for Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
Shigeru Ban enjoys a growing reputation in the West, has won a host of prizes, and prestigious commissions. His buildings are out on the edge of what we might consider as practical architecture. There are a lot of museum commissions, but even the domestic dwellings look like empty exhibition spaces. He also experiments with novel materials like paper tubing, and novel techniques, like woven roofs made of plywood. The overall effect is an architectural version of Muji, as much basket weaving as architecture.

This book is a fairly straight account of his buildings up to publication in 2006, separated into different themes, such as paper, and skin. This works well to bring out common features on how these buildings are constructed. Ban is a thoughtful architect experimenting with different materials and approaches. There is an element of Cedric Price and Buckminster Fuller in some of these buildings. There is also a wealth of plans and technical detail, just in case you want to use paper tubes as a building material.

The book is attractively prepared, well written and beautifully designed. There are probably more recent books on Ban, and there is scant detail on Ban the man, but this is a model of how such books should be prepared, with clarity and passion.

Although the buildings can appear a little blank they are striking and attractive, and look like something from a better future.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
"Shigeru Ban is the future." 24 May 2005
By ArchiZona - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Shigeru Ban is famous for his innovative use of building materials, structural rigor and pureness. This book captures all these quintessential attributes of this ingenious architect.

The editor did a great job of organizing Ban's projects according to the building materials (i.e., paper, wood, bamboo, prefab, and skin). Multiple projects in each chapter form a coherent and articulated presentation of how Ban took advantage of the uniquessness of certain material and incorporated it into his architectural philosophy and aesthetics.

The text is technical oriented which often includes the characteristics of the materials and the issues concerning structural engineering. At the end of most chapters, you can find detailed technical information and test statistics of the building materials used in the featured projects. Moreover, at the beginning of the book, Ban also contributed an article on the whole building process of building his classic work: Japanese Pavillion, which is very informative and instructive.

Another noteworthy strength of this book is that it reveals the connectness of Ban's different projects and shows how the architect developed and built his own architectural style programmatically (e.g., How he developed, refined, and matured the paper architecture, the furniture house idea, the ivy structure, and the universal floor plan through several dozens of projects).

Put together, this is a well-organized, thoughtful, and informative book about Ban's contribution to the international architectural community. Bravo!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, persuasive monograph 7 Oct. 2004
By Joel Dabrowski - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The book itself is almost the perfect monograph. Each project is described concisely, and it has all the drawings and photos to orient the reader to the site, the program and the idea. The drawings and photos range from the finest detail to the biggest gestures, and doesn't isolate the projects like they're pristine objects. The photos often emphasize the construction or assembly of the work, though the finished photos and model shots are expressive and informative too. The pages with experimental and test calculations are well-organized and relate back to specific projects and details, using graphs, tables and pictures or drawings of the elements or details in question. For a non-engineer, it's all rather clear and convincing. I've never seen ideas and processes presented so rationally and convincingly. Nothing here seems superfluous and Ban reveals his process and interests completely to the reader.

Of course, the projects themselves are fantastic. John Hedjuk's influence is all over the work, and I dare say that Ban's actualized projects are now richer, have reached greater depth and are more expressive and informative than his mentor's. On one level, you could imagine that Ban's preoccupation with wood products, "green" construction and sustainable design started as a bad pun that served as the basis of his student thesis. ("Paper Architecture." Ha-ha.) But the rigor and depth that he brings to each project break through any temptation to show self-conscious irony or superficiality. At the end of the day, he's an architect's architect who controls proportion and light, defines space and considers human scale in all his work. He makes Calatrava look like "just" an engineer. And his works aren't just formal exercises with nine square grids and such. His ideas and works begin to touch on politics without seeming pretentious or partisan with his refugeee shelters and other more recent work (although those private houses do present a counterpoint to the socially-oriented work in more ways than one).

Anyway, great book, great work. I'm totally convinced of Ban's skills and talent.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not just Show 21 Dec. 2007
By Agustín Amenabar - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The fact that this book comes with real explanation and plans of the proyects is why it was chosen above all others... arquitects don't read pictures, they read plans...
Shigeru Ban 22 Dec. 2010
By wchu02 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book due to its in-depth investigation on the designs of Shigeru Ban. Ample in the book is photographs as well as technical drawings such as plans and sections. The mentioned technical drawings are not small enough that you can't read them but they aren't very big either. The pictures itself is printed on high quality paper which contributes to the overall readability. It should be noted that much of the photographs and diagrams could be found on Shigeru Ban's own website though this shouldn't be a deterrent since there are also much information that isn't posted on his website that is included in the book.

As such, i found this book to have more of a focus on the structural nature of Ban's materials as there is a section at the end of every chapter noting the structural tests and strength of the materials used. This certainly isn't a bad thing considering it is an architect's job to make sure that a building that he/she designs is one that stand up to the forces of nature. However, laymen could be turned off by these end of the chapter sections. Furthermore, detailed and exploded axonometric drawings are scattered in this book that show the structure of the building which is a definite plus.

One should note that this book was first published 2003 so it doesn't have much of Ban's latest works but that shouldn't deter anyone from purchasing this book as it still have a lot of positive aspects

This is definitely one of Phaidon's better architectural monographs and should serve to inspire and inform.
Not Enough Blueprint Detail 26 Dec. 2013
By Steven - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many beautiful photographs. What I really wanted from it was the engineering details for the construction and testing of the cardboard tubes and detailed architectural drawings of the structures. There are details you will find in this book that don't appear to be published anywhere online, but if you are looking to reproduce some of Ban's work, you'll have to make some educated guesses on the dimensions. There are good details on how the cardboard tubes were tested and coated with urethane.
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