The humanitarian efforts of international architect and SCI-Arc alum Shigeru Ban ('78-'80) were showcased in the online version of the Architectural Record earlier this year.
Ban, founder and principal of Shigeru Ban Architects, has been actively involved in disaster relief activities in Haiti following the catastrophic earthquake that struck the country in January.
Among recent projects, Ban and members of his staff worked with architecture students from the Dominican Republic to provide sturdy, temporary shelters for 50 Haitian families who have chosen to stay in their destroyed village of Digner in Port-au-Prince. The shelters are stable, waterproof structures that maximize internal space. They consist of a 161-square-foot, barn-shaped structure, constructed with polyurethane-coated cylinders that are linked together with plywood joints and rope. The cost of a shelter is $300 and all materials are acquired locally.
Ban began his relief work in 1994 in Rwanda and has built shelters at disaster sites in Asia, Africa and Europe. His long-term goal in Haiti is to build permanent homes for villagers of Digner.