Research Paper

Tadao Ando and Me

Tadao Ando Portrait by Christopher Schriner from Köln, Deutschland

Within this essay, I will be going over my report of one of my heroes/inspirations, Tadao Ando. When it comes to Tadao Ando, in my opinion, he is one of the greatest architects I’ve ever seen. When I saw his architecture, I thought I saw one of the greatest architects ever with his own style and how he portrays buildings, the lighting within these areas, and the materials used in these buildings. If there were any person I would love to learn from, it is from him.

When it comes to his architecture, it could be shown as “critical regionalism.” The simplicity of Ando’s architecture emphasizes the concept of sensation and physical experiences, influenced by Japanese culture. It focuses on the idea of simplicity and concentrates on the inner feeling rather than outward appearance. Ando’s architecture is primarily constructed with concrete, providing a sense of cleanliness and weightlessness at the same time. The simplicity of the exterior, construction, and organization of the space is relatively potential to represent the aesthetic of sensation.

When it comes to Tadao Ando’s history, Ando was born in 1941 in Osaka, Japan. He was a boxer and fighter before settling on being an architect, despite never being formal training in architecture. Inspired by the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Imperial Hotel, he eventually decided to end his boxing career after graduating from high school to pursue architecture and attending night classes to learn drawing and took correspondence courses on interior design. He visited many buildings designed by renowned architects like Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Louis Kahn and established his own design studio, Tadao Ando Architects and Associates.

There are many things Ando accomplished, shown in many of his works such as Azuma House, Ibaraki Kasugaoka Church, The Shikokumura gallery, Chichu Art Museum, and The Oval at Benesse Art Museum Naoshima. Going further into these works my favorite is The Oval at Benesse Art Museum Naoshima because of not only the lighting and materials but also the location when it is put into as you can see in the picture I’ve provided below. Not only that, he has been awarded many times, with lots being the highest awards. Such as the Pritzker Architecture Prize, AIA Gold Medal, UIA Gold Medal, Gold Medal of Architecture, Alvar Aalto Medal, and many more. He goes into many details on how he sees not only lights and shadows but also the materials that go with the building.

Azuma House by Tadao Ando
Church of the Light by Andrew Kroll
The Chichu Art Museum in Naoshima by Mauricio Fernández Medina
“The Oval’ Benesse Arts Museum-Naoshima: Tadao Ando via telstar
The Shikokumura gallery by 663highland

Finalizing all I went through, overall I went over Ando’s life and works and what they all meant to see all of these works. Overall I could not see anyone that I can relate to other than him because I would consider him as a hard worker and someone that pushed himself hard in order to be the best architect that he can be and show his own understanding with his own background. It inspires me that someone could help someone like me who is a first-generation immigrant child, someone who had to work hard and learn most of his things on his own with people to support him along the way. It shows me that the more I learn, the better I will become, and someday maybe the greatest architect America will ever know.