Renowned Japanese architect to support UN-Habitat in refugee camp design

By on 07/10/2017

Shigeru Ban

Nairobi, 10 July 2017 – Renowned architect, Shigeru Ban, will visit the Kalobeiyei refugee settlement site in Northern Kenya this week as part of a newly-established partnership with UN-Habitat.

Under a partnership with VAN, the Voluntary Architects Network, Mr Ban will develop potential shelter designs for residents of the camp based on socio-economic needs and available data from UN-Habitat.  The two organizations will also conduct participatory design workshops with the community, and develop and propose a shelter design model.

A celebrated architect, both in his native Japan and worldwide, Mr Ban is known for his innovative work with paper and has pioneered the use of recycled cardboard tubes to quickly and efficiently house disaster victims.

In 1995, Mr Ban’s innovative paper log cabins were used to house those who displaced by earthquakes in Kobe, Japan, and in 1999, those in Kaynasli, Turkey. His designs have also provided churches in Japan and after the devastating earthquake in Christchurch in 2011.

Paper houses © Eresh Weerasuriya 17 Suramya Pedesa, Katubedda, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

In 2014, Mr Ban was named received the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the most prestigious prize in modern architecture which recognized the dedication of his architecture skills and creativity to humanitarian aid.

The focus of the project is to establish sustainable and appropriate shelter options for people in the Kalobeyei settlement taking into account cultural and socio-economic context.

UN-Habitat has been working in the area since 2015 in a joint project with UNHCR funded by the Government of Japan to provide urban planning expertise to humanitarian shelter provision.

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