Shigeru Ban manages to blend modernism and expressionism with an inspired and exciting sense of creating something totally new with each project.

Each building somehow magically creates a new sort of architecture, either by utilizing unusual materials or via the gestation of some new imaginative concept of what architecture should or could be with relation to a particular usage or site.

It's this unbounded, unbridled imagination that intrigues the world and which has conveyed special status upon the Japanese architectural icon that Ban has become.

Ban studied architecture first at the Tokyo University of the Arts and then at the Southern California Institute of the Arts and finally at the Cooper Union School of the Architecture in New York, graduating in 1984.

At Cooper his tutor was John Hedjuk who left an a lasting impression on his young Japanese student. Ban's architecture is incredibly tactile. His preoccupation with the point at which materials seek expression through structure and the interplay between the underlying structure and the outward and inward form of the building allows him to create buildings that are at once delicate and divinely story-telling and expressive as well as ecological. He will experiment with new materials, especially those drawn from his Japanese heritage and in doing so he brings immense presence and theatricality to each structure.

Ban's work effortlessly splendidly fuses east and west. He's happy with both and he's happy in the fertile zone in between. Each project emanates from a profound understanding of the site and of the requirements of the client and draws harmoniously on the many influences to which he has been party.