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Ando Tadao



Ando Tadao

(b Osaka, 13 Sept 1941). Japanese architect. Between 1962 and 1969 he travelled extensively, studying first-hand the architecture of Japan, Europe, America and Africa. In 1969 he founded his own practice in Osaka. An inheritor of the Japanese anti-seismic reinforced-concrete tradition, Ando became one of the leading practitioners in this genre. Capable of using fair-faced, precision-cast reinforced-concrete walls to maximum effect, he created a uniquely minimalist modern expression, yielding an architecture of very firmly bounded domains. He spoke of using ‘walls to defeat walls’, by which he meant deploying the orthogonal, strictly geometric volumes of his earlier work as a way of resisting the empirical, not to say random, chaos of the average Japanese megalopolis. To this end most of his early houses are highly introspective; notable examples include two houses in Sumiyoshi, Osaka: the award-winning, diminutive terraced Azuma House (1976) and the Glass Block Wall House (1979), built for the Horiuchi family. The latter is a courtyard house that gains light and views solely from its small internal atrium. The Koshino House (1981), built in the pine-wooded, upper-class suburbs of Ashiya (Hyogo Prefecture), takes a more open courtyard form, but again, as in all of Ando’s subsequent work, its subtle beauty stems from the ever-changing impact of natural light on its concrete surfaces. As in the in-situ concrete Soseikan tea house added to the Yamaguchi House, Takarazuka (Hyogo Prefecture), in 1982, Ando never alluded to the Japanese tradition directly but always instead to the qualities of both half-muted and sharply contrasting light in which this tradition is steeped.


"Space for Contemplation" UNESCO, Paris



Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis, Missouri, United States



Langen Foundation



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