This spring, the Vancouver Art Gallery presents Offsite: Shigeru Ban. This exhibition organized by the Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art features the full-scale version of renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s Kobe Paper Log House at the Gallery’s Offsite location (1100 West Georgia Street).
Under the direction of Shigeru Ban, the Gallery has built a version of his 15.8 square-meter Kobe Paper Log House utilizing readily sourced materials. Founder of the Voluntary Architects Network, Ban designed the Kobe Paper Log House as disaster relief shelter with his extensive knowledge of recyclable materials, particularly of paper and cardboard. This exhibition will also feature a large photomural documenting Ban’s ongoing design work on global disaster relief projects – work that in 2017 earned him the Mother Theresa Award.
In 1995, the coast of Japan was hit by a 6.9 magnitude earthquake, with the major port city of Kobe as its epicentre. Over 6,000 people were killed, and 200,000 lost their homes. At the time a young Tokyo-based architect, Ban responded to the urgent need for temporary relief shelter by designing the Kobe Paper Log House, which served to house thousands of displaced Kobe residents. Since its creation, Ban has been called on by such organizations as the United Nations to develop his innovative structures, regarded for their low cost, easy accessibility and simple application.
“For more than twenty years, Shigeru Ban’s designs have served as a prototype for housing displaced peoples caught in the grips of natural disasters and war around the world,” says Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Based in a city known as a hub for green design and architecture, where the threat of an earthquake remains integral to building design choices, the Gallery invites visitors to see up-close this remarkable work of sustainable design that has improved the lives of so many.”
Offsite: Shigeru Ban is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery's Institute of Asian Art and curated by Bruce Grenville, Senior Curator.
Image: Shigeru Ban, Paper Log House – Kobe, 1995, photo: Hiroyuki Hirai