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Shigeru Ban to make UK debut with timber scheme

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Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has been appointed to design an office and residential scheme on an ‘eyesore’ site next to London’s City Hall - his first project in the UK

Ban was rewarded with the Pritzker Architecture Prize last year for his use of recycled cardboard tubes to rehouse disaster victims (see AJ 25.03.14).

He will work with cross laminated timber specialist Waugh Thistleton on a scheme for developer John Curran at Potters Fields near Tower Bridge.

It is understood that Waugh Thistleton pipped drMM and Featherstone Young to win the commission which will see it appointed as executive architect on the project.

In November, London Borough of Southwark sold a 220m² former school site on Tooley Street to Curran, who already owned a neighbouring plot.

A report that went to the council’s cabinet reporting the sale said that the move would ‘substantially improve what is currently quite an eye-sore next to Potters Field Park and provide new office and compound space which could be used by the Potters Fields Management Trust to replace the poor quality accommodation they currently operate from.’

It said that the council would own the office space in the development and let it out for a rental stream.

The council has also sold ‘oversail’ rights to the developer, which will allow the new development to be built over Potters Field park.

No designs for the development have yet been revealed, and a planning permission has yet to be submitted.

Among Ban’s most recent work includes his cardboard replacement for Christchurch’s 155-year-old cathedral completed in 2013 and a competition-winning headquarters building for Swatch and Omega in Switzerland which will be built from timber (see AJ 25.06.13).

Shigeru Ban

About Shigeru Ban:

1957: Born in Tokyo, August 5
1984: Completes bachelor’s degree from Cooper Union in New York City.
1985: Opens Tokyo office
1994: UN High Commission for Refugees appoints Ban as an advisor after hearing about his designs for paper-tube shelters to house victims of the Rwanda conflict.
1995: Founds VAN: Voluntary Architects’ Network
1995: Pro Bono work following Kobe earthquake. Designs Paper Log House and Paper Church.
1995: Curtain Wall House; private house, Tokyo, Japan
2000: Naked House; private house in Saitama, Japan featuring walls made of clear corrugated plastic
2001: Professor at Keio University
2004: Wins contest for Pompidou Centre-Metz project.
2005: RIBA Fellow
2005-2007 Nomadic Museum (New York, Santa Monica, California, Tokyo)
2011: Professor at Kyoto University
2013: Temporary Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Readers' comments (1)

  • So the council - the planning authority - sells a plot with 'oversail rights' to the developer to allow building over Potters Field Park? Is this a new way for councils to raise money?

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