The architects who inspire us | part 3: Tadao Ando
Tadao Ando was born in 1941 in Osaka, Japan. Growing up in that city as Japan recovered from the war, Tadao Ando spent the most of time out of doors.
The first impression of his architecture is its materiality. His large and powerful walls set a limit. A second impression of his work is the tactility. His hard walls seem soft to touch, admit light, wind and stillness. Third impression is the emptiness, because only light space surround the visitor in Tadao Ando’s building.
“In all my works, light is an important controlling factor,” says Ando. “I create enclosed spaces mainly by means of thick concrete walls. The primary reason is to create a place for the individual, a zone for oneself within society. When the external factors of a city’s environment require the wall to be without openings, the interior must be especially full and satisfying.”
And further on the subject of walls, Ando writes, “At times walls manifest a power that borders on the violent. They have the power to divide space, transfigure place, and create new domains. Walls are the most basic elements of architecture, but they can also be the most enriching.”
All Tadao Ando’s work is characteristically simple, and we can find similar forms in the first half of 20th century: "I am interested in a dialogue with the architecture of the past", Tadao Ando says, "but it must be filtered through my own vision and my own experience. I am indebted to Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, but the same way, I take what they did and interpret it in my own fashion."