Shigeru Ban – Architecture and Humanitarian Activities

March 2, 2013, to May 12, 2013

Installation view at Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito  Photo:Marisa Shimamoto

The largest exhibition of the architect Shigeru Ban featuring his creations and activities inclusively.
One of the most important Japanese architects, Shigeru Ban's recent projects range from Center
Pompidou-Metz in France to Garage Center for Contemporary Culture Temporary Pavilion in
Moscow, and Aspen Art Museum in the USA.
He is also known for his innovative work constructed by developing or applying building materials
from objects already existing in our everyday lives, such as paper, ready-made steel part and
containers, as seen in the works ‘Paper House’, ‘Atelier for a Glass Artist’, and ‘Nomadic Museum’.
He has dedicated nearly two decades to his Disaster Relief Project all over the world. He has
designed and provided shelters for refugees and disaster victims in Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Haiti,
China, Italy, Rwanda, Turkey, America and New Zealand. The project includes management of
volunteer architects.
As the first full scale Exhibition of Shigeru Ban, this exhibition presents his work and activity
inclusively. From his early works and a pioneering new architectural material to an ongoing disaster
project, the exhibition ‘Shigeru Ban’ explores the diverse activities and achievements of the architect as well as his vision and spirit to challenge social issues and disasters. The exhibition features architectural models, mock-ups, photographs, videos of his major and important works, and furniture.

Profile of Shigeru Ban

Shigeru Ban, born in Tokyo in 1957, attended at Southern California Institute of Architecture and graduated from Cooper Union School of Architecture in 1984.
In 1985, he established Shigeru Ban Architects, a private practice in Tokyo. In 1995, He started working as a consultant of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and at the same time established Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN) in 1995. Professor of Kyoto University of Art and Design from 2011.
Renowned for his works with innovative ideas such as “Curtain Wall House”, “Japan Pavilion Hannover EXPO 2000”, “Nicolas G. Hayek Center”, “Centre Pompidou-Metz”, he is today based in his three offices at Tokyo, New York and Paris. Meanwhile, he contributes his knowledge, skills and energy for the disaster relief projects such as Paper Log House (Kobe of Japan 1995, Turkey 2000, India 2002), Paper Church (Kobe,1995), Temporary Elementary School (Chengdu, China 2008) and Container Temporary Housing (Onagawa, Japan 2011)

Container Temporary Housing - Onagawa, MIYAGI
© Voluntary Architects’ Network + Shigeru Ban Architects

Paper Partition System 4 for Evacuation Facilities
© Voluntary Architects’ Network

Nomadic Museum New York
Photo by Michael Moran

Curtain Wall House
Photo by Hiroyuki Hirai



Shigeru Ban – Architecture and Humanitarian Activities


Contemporary Art Gallery+Plaza




9:30-18:00 (no admittance after 17:30)


On Mondays


800yen/600yen for advance booking and group of more than 20 people
Free admission for under 15, seniors over 65, the disabled and one accompanying attendant
[One-year Pass]
1000yen: High Teen Pass "H.T.P." for youth between the age of 15 and 19
2500yen: Adult Pass for those aged 20 and over

Organized by

Mito Arts Foundation

Grants from

Takashimaya Charitable Trust for Art and Culture, Asahi Group Arts Foundation

Sponsored by

Kajima Corporation

Supported from

Shigeru Ban Architects, Asahi Breweries, Ltd., NIPPON KAKO-KIZAI CO., LTD., ITOKI CORPORATION, Kase Group, TSP TAIYO Inc., Ryohin Keikaku. Co., Ltd., Hermès Japon, Holzbau Amann GmbH, BLUMER-LEHMANN AG

Curated by

Sayako Kadowaki (Curator, Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito)

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Related program

Gallery Tour

March 24 (Sun.), 2013

A tour by the assistant of Shigeru Ban who has managed the disaster projects on-site.
No reservation needed.
Date:Sunday 24 March, 14:00-14:40
Venue:Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito
*Ticket to the exhibition required

Related program

Future of Architecture and City Symposium

March 3 (Sun.), 2013

3.11 gave us an opportunity to rethink about safer architecture, disaster proof society and city planning. Shigeru Ban and professionals from different backgrounds will explore possibilities of architecture, rebuilding of the city and new city planning from various standpoints, discussing architecture, disaster countermeasure and support, social issues such as dwindling birth rate and an aging population, declining population, and city planning as a whole. In an attempt to challenge the natural and social environment we currently live in, this symposium will be a significant opportunity to explore rebuilding the city beyond the disaster-stricken area. The panelists will be announced on Art Tower Mito website.
Date:Sunday 3 March 2013, 13:30-16:00(door opens13:00)
Venue:Concert Hall, Art Tower Mito
Fee: Free

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High School Students Weeks 2013

March 10 (Sun.), 2013, to April 7 (Sun.), 2013

Venue Workshop room, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito

Our annual free admission month to high scholers and others in the same age group. During the month, the café opens in the gallery. Visitors are welcome to use the café and lounge run mostly by high school and college students. A variety of different lecturers will hold workshops related to the ongoing exhibition.
Dates: Sunday, March 10 – Sunday, April 7, 2013
Invitees: High school students or age 15-18 (ID required)
Café opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 15:00-18:00, Weekends and holidays 13:00-18:00
Venue: Workshop room, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito

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