Dezeen Magazine

Shigeru Ban joins disaster relief effort following Ecuador earthquake

Shigeru Ban has travelled to Ecuador to help with disaster relief, following a major earthquake that has caused the death of over 650 people.

Ban – who was previously worked on disaster recovery projects all around the world – arrived in the South American republic earlier this week to offer his support.

According to the College of Architects of Ecuador Provincial de Pichincha (CAE-P), the architect plans to visit the affected area, which is located near the towns of Muisne and Pedernales, and provide architectural training.

The 2016 Ecuador earthquake occurred on 16 April. Measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, it was felt strongly in the capital Quito, and resulted in over 17,000 casualties.

Ban was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2014, partly in recognition of his pioneering use of cardboard and other low-cost materials for disaster relief architecture.

Shigeru Ban designs modular shelters for Nepal earthquake victims
Shigeru Ban designed modular shelters for Nepal earthquake victims, featuring a cardboard roof truss system

His visit to Ecuador is the latest in a series of efforts to help recovery. Following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011, he developed shipping-container homes for those affected, and last year designed modular dwellings for victims of the Nepal earthquakes.

Other projects include a temporary cardboard cathedral to replace the one destroyed in Christchurch, New Zealand, and timber and earth houses for the rehabilitation of a Sri Lankan fishing village.

Post-Tsunami Housing by Shigeru Ban
Ban developed these timber and earth houses for the rehabilitation of a Sri Lankan fishing village that was swept away during the 2004 tsunami

"I want to make a balance of working for the privileged people and working for the disaster," he told journalists in 2014. "And it's becoming that there is no differences for me. Only difference is whether I am paid or not, but otherwise there is no differences."

More details about Ban's visit are expected to be revealed in the coming days.