Japanese architect Ban wins prestigious Spanish prize

MADRID — Japanese architect Shigeru Ban was named the winner of a prestigious Spanish prize Thursday for his pioneering work on designing temporary shelters for people affected by natural disasters and armed conflict.

The jury that decides the Princess of Asturias Awards gave Ban its Concord Prize for “providing shelters that offer dignity” to those needing emergency help.

Ban is known for his innovative use of cardboard tubes in construction. This durable and environmentally-friendly material was used for Rwandan refugees in the 1990s, and Ban became a consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

“His work, constantly guided by humanitarian values and with the help of volunteers, is an example of sustainable architecture using recycled materials, earning international recognition,” the Princess of Asturias jury said in its citation.

The 50,000-euro ($52,560) Concord Prize is one of eight awards, including for the arts, social sciences and sports, handed out annually by a foundation named for Spanish Crown Princess Leonor.

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