Tadao Ando: The Self-Educated Architect


Japanese architect Tadao Ando is a master of his craft. Ando’s reverent strategy to each architectural commission is, in several techniques, commensurate with Japan’s distinctive heritage: from the samurai ideals of respect, discipline and honor to the manners and customs governing Japanese society, Ando accomplishes his work with an innate artistry.

Tadao Ando 152 Elizabeth Street 152 Elizabeth Street facade 152 Elizabeth Street interior Casa Wabi main villa Casa Wabi pool area Church of the Light exterior Church on the Water exterior Clark Institute Stone Hill Center Williamstown Massachusetts Tadao Ando Architect Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth TA001 Dream Chair Tadao Ando Dream Chairs Church on the Water interior

Tadao Ando. Image © Christopher Schriner / CC BY 2. by way of ArchDaily.

Early Beginnings

Born in 1941 in Osaka, Japan, Ando was the firstborn of twin boys. Aged 2, his family separated Ando and his brother Ando was then raised by his maternal grandmother and offered her surname. For the duration of his teenage many years, Ando invested time making wooden versions, studying this craft from a neighbouring carpenter. At fifteen, he had a quick stint as a professional boxer (and today equates creativity to fighting and designing architecture to a battle). Ando was self-educated and via his personal efforts, secured short-phrase apprenticeships with appropriate designers and city planners. With time, he concentrated his curiosity on the field of architecture. Of architecture, Ando observed: “[architecture] tends to make feasible the consideration of intimate relations among materials and type, and among volume and human daily life.” (Source: The Pritzker Architecture Prize)

Church of the Light interior

Church of the Light, Ibaraki, Osaka, Japan. Picture by way of ArchDaily.

Church of the Light exterior

Church of the Light, Ibaraki, Osaka, Japan. Image © Antje Verena via ArchDaily.

An Experiential Technique to Studying

Ando’s approach to studying was experientially-based he studied architecture by going to buildings in Kyoto and Nara – temples, shrines, and tea homes – and reading through books on the topic. Ando ventured on research journeys to Europe and the USA, observing and contemplating Western architecture and retaining a detailed sketchbook of his travels (as a lot an artist as an architect, Ando’s sketches and drawings are in consistent receipt of praise). Famed architects this kind of as Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn were significant figures in Ando’s learning and advancement. In 1969, Ando established an architectural studio in his property town of Osaka, so eschewing prevailing thoughts of the time that an workplace in Tokyo was necessary to running a effective venture.

Church on the Water exterior Church on the Water interior

Pictured over: Church on the Water, Hokkaido, Japan. Photographs © Edgar Yang by means of Architectuul.

A Examine in Concrete

Tadao Ando’s perform is in the primary a study in reinforced concrete (a departure from the Japanese tradition of building with wood). Ando strives to make sure his structures sustain a unity between their physical expression and nature (here, Ando frequently makes reference to light and wind): “The aim of my style is… to impart wealthy meaning to spaces by way of natural factors and the many facets of everyday daily life.” (Source: The Pritzker Architecture Prize)

Casa Wabi outside gallery view Casa Wabi main villa Casa Wabi pool area

Pictured over: Casa Wabi is an artists’ residency on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Images by Alejandro Cartagena © Monocle.

Ando’s concrete is regarded to be “smooth-as-silk”. Its high quality is significantly enhanced by the wooden form work in which the concrete is cast. Crafted in Japan – a nation with a prodigious carpentry heritage – the wooden form perform is exemplary and form moulds are even varnished to make certain a “smooth-as-silk” finish. Evenly spaced holes in the concrete are induced by the bolts used to hold the moulds collectively. In its completed state, Ando’s concrete acts as both framework and surface, with no require to disguise or colour its being.

152 Elizabeth Street

152 Elizabeth Street model 152 Elizabeth Street

152 Elizabeth Street is Tadao Ando’s first New York building (located on Manhattan island). Right here, Ando wished to embrace the wonderful Manhattan metropolis and generate a sanctuary, a area to which 1 can retreat and reflect.

152 Elizabeth Street interior 152 Elizabeth Street facade

In keeping with his method to architecture, Ando has worked to ensure that each element of this creating – light and shadow, water and greenery, steel and glass – is in harmony. Images © 152 Elizabeth.

Worldwide Modernism

Significantly much more than a native Japanese fashion of architecture, Ando’s function is an inherent part of international modernism, the place the use of concrete, steel and glass is found in buildings worldwide. Ando’s own unique twist is rooted in what he calls ‘enclosed Modern Architecture’: preserving and restoring the unity between home and nature. His operates diligently play with light and shadow, concrete and steel. In addition, underground spaces and the use of stairs are frequent features in numerous of Ando’s buildings.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Modern day Art Museum of Fort Well worth, Fort Really worth Texas. Image © Liao Yusheng by way of ArchDaily.

Clark Institute Stone Hill Center Williamstown Massachusetts Tadao Ando Architect

Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA. Image © Jeff Goldberg – ESTO by means of ArchDaily.

Architectural Honours

Ando is the recipient of many architectural honours, notably the Pritzker Architecture Prize awarded in 1995 and most lately the 2016 Isamu Noguchi Award (alongside artist Elyn Zimmerman). The Isamu Noguchi Award is provided to people individuals sharing American artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi’s “spirit of innovation, international consciousness, and East-West exchange.” Ando’s “minimalist strategy, sensitivity to light, [the] incorporation of all-natural components [and his] unparalleled perform with concrete”, embody many of the principles embraced by Noguchi. (Source: ArchDaily)

Sri Lanka house exterior Sri Lanka house interior

Pringiers Home, Mirissa, Sri Lanka. Pictures by Edmund Sumner via The Architectural Review.

The Dream Chair

Worthy of note and a stunning portion of Ando’s legacy, is his 2013 collaboration with revered Danish furnishings maker Carl Hansen & Søn. Here, Ando imagined and designed the Dream Chair, an architecturally sculptural furnishings opus.

TA001 Dream Chair

The Dream Chair embodies each Danish craftsmanship and Japanese design tradition. Ando developed the chair by using a comparable approach to the a single he applies in architecture. The place Ando typically manipulates concrete to generate buildings and spaces, he chose to work wholly with plywood in generating the Dream Chair. The chair is produced employing 3-dimensional plywood, its curvature pushed to an intense level, thus producing a distinguished chair type.

Tadao Ando Dream Chairs

Ando believes that a merchandise ought to be created solely from 1 materials, so conserving resources and minimising environmental impact. His work frequently complements Nordic style and Ando holds an particularly higher regard for lauded Danish designer Hans J. Wegner. The Dream Chair is Tadao Ando’s tribute to Wegner, a designer who himself fervently explored the structural possibilities of supplies.

Photographs © Carl Hansen & Søn.

“The Box That Provokes”

It is Ando’s want that his architectural varieties should supply an immersive physical encounter. He has described architecture as “the box that provokes” and believes that architecture can, even in a small way, direct the manner in which folks lead their lives.

Bibliography:
The Pritzker Architecture Prize. (2016) Tadao Ando, 1995, Laureate Biography. [On-line] Offered from: http://www.pritzkerprize.com. [Accessed: 1st February 2016].

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