Recognized the world over for his powerful play of natural light, unmatched work with concrete, and a deep engagement with nature, Japanese architect Tadao Ando’s creations inspire awe and reverence. His architectural style emphasizes nothingness and embodies the beauty of simplicity. The rich yet minimal version of modernism is symbolic of traditional Japanese architecture and his approach to architecture is largely categorized as “critical regionalism”.
Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright were some of the architect’s great inspirations. Ando comments, “If you give people nothingness, they can ponder what can be achieved from that nothingness.” The self-taught architect is the recipient of almost every prize of architecture, including the Pritzker Prize, Kyoto Prize, Royal Gold Medal and others.
Take a walk through some of his most recognized and worshipped works.
Church of Light- Built in 1989 in Ibaraki, Japan, the Church of Light is symbolic of the dual nature of existence- stark/serene, light/dark, solid/void. The pure and unadorned space through the intersection of solid and light resonates with the philosophical framework of the architect.
2. Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth- The incorporation of natural environment, simple geometry and minimal material selection in the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, United States is atypical of Ando’s work. Its pure design makes the museum a modern work of art.
3. Church on the Water- Based on clear geometric order, this composition of Ando’s is based on water at the intersection of two volumes. Located in Tomamu, Japan, the element of nature is apparent in this piece of architecture.
4. Asia Museum of Modern Art- The Asia Museum of Modern Art, Taichung/Taiwan is constructed on a rigid triangular base. A controlled, superior quality masterpiece, it works as an urban anchor for the adjoining university campus.
5. Meditation Space, UNESCO- To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1995, a space for meditation was created at its headquarters in Paris. Built in concrete, it reflects the idea of simplicity and purity.
6. Casa Monterrey, Mexico- A residential project, the Casa Monterrey is a three-storey building centring on a double-height library. It expanses diagonally through the middle and is fronted by glazing- a swimming pool surrounded by hillside further beautifies its architecture.