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Industry & Trends

Pritzker Award-Winning Architect’s New Book Is All About Wood

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s new book, Timber in Architecture, highlights his love for working with wood for more than four decades.

The boom in mass-timber construction is getting plenty of headlines these days but for Pritzker award-winning architect Shigeru Ban it’s old news as he’s been building structures made of wood for more than 40 years. In his new book, “Shigeru Ban: Timber in Architecture,” the 65-year-old, Japanese-born architect—who won architecture’s most prized honor in 2014—writes all about using wood in his structures.

In a recent interview with Metropolis magazine, he said that while he believes the current use of mass timber in construction has its limitations, particularly for high-rise structures, Ban says he’s been in love with wood since he was a boy. “I wanted to be a carpenter when I was small, because I loved the smell of wood, and I thought the process of using it was magical.”  He said compared to other materials used in building—such as steel—wood has its drawbacks, but that’s part of its appeal. “I love wood’s limitations. Wood is a natural material, so there are many more challenges. So, my interest is in using that kind of humble material and working within those limitations to create something special. To take advantage of the limitations.” A thought to remember while you’re reading the book—272 pages and published by Rizzoli—before your next project.


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