Shigeru Ban Architects—the Tokyo-based firm founded by the 2014 Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban, Hon. FAIA—and Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN) pledged their support for victims of the April 25th earthquake in Nepal, with an approximate 7.8 magnitude, that claimed thousands of lives. The organizations will provide shelter, housing, and other community facilities.
According to the firm's site, the entire response will be divided into a three-part process. The first part consists of delivering donated tents for shelter and medical facilities. Because these structures only consist of support beams and roofs, donated plastic tarps will also be secured. During the transitional phase a few months later, the firm will supply temporary housing built with Nepalese materials in collaboration with local universities, students, and architects. Finally, Ban's firm will build permanent housing for those who need assistance in rebuilding their homes, which require case-specific designs for the area. Because this phase is so far into the future, few details have been released.
Currently, the firm and VAN are accepting donations for their relief efforts.
The bulk of Ban's disaster relief work began in 1994 when he discovered 2 million refugees in Rwanda had been misplaced from their homes as a result of the country's Civil War. To help, he proposed the "paper-tube shelters" to the United Nations, and they brought him on as a consultant. Over the past 20 years, Ban has helped several nations and thousands of people affected by natural disasters. Such projects include the Paper Shelter in Haiti, the Hualin Temporary Elementary School in China, and Paper Log Houses in India. While Ban is famous for his paper tube constructions, his designs have included everything from beer crates to area timber, and even rubble.