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AN DO

TA DAO AN

TA DAO


TA BLE OF CON

OF CON TENTS


TA BLE Biography Materials, Geometry and Nature

OF 3 5

Interior, Exterior

17

The Wall as Territorial Delineation

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CON


BIO GRA 3

BIO GRA PHY


biography

Tadao Ando was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1941.

Yale, Columbia, and Harvard Universities; and

A self-educated architect with roots in Osaka,

in 1997, he became Professor of Architecture at

he spent time in nearby Kyoto and Nara, study-

Tokyo University. Ando has received numerous

ing firsthand the great monuments of traditional

architecture awards, including the prestigious

Japanese architecture. Between 1962 and 1969 he

Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995. His buildings

traveled to the United States, Europe, and Africa,

can be seen in Japan, Europe, the United States,

learning about Western architecture, history, and

and India.

techniques. His studies of both traditional Japanese and modern architecture had a profound influence on his work and resulted in a unique blend of these rich traditions. In 1969, Ando established Tadao Ando Architect & Associates in Osaka. He is an honorary fellow in the architecture academies of six countries; he has been a visiting professor at

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MATERIALS, GEOMETRY, & NATURE this of matter and light cannot be experienced in

made a powerful impression on me. The space

the Pantheon in Rome. It is often said that Roman

nature. It is only, in architecture that such a vision

of traditional Japanese architecture is ex-

architecture generally has a more spatial character

is encountered. It was this power of architecture

tended in a horizontal direction. However, the

than Greek architecture, but what I experienced was

that moved me.

three-dimensional, maze-like prison of Piranesi

not space in a conceptual sense. It was truly space

has the verticality of a rising spiral stairway.

made manifest. The Pantheon of course is composed

There is another western space vivid in my mem-

of a semispherical dome of a 43.2 metre diameter,

ory: the space in the imaginary structures of Pira-

The geometrical order of the Pantheon and the

placed on top of a cylinder with the same diameter.

nesi, found in the elaborate maps of the Roman

verticality of Piranesian space are in marvelous

The height of the building is also 43.2 meters, so

empire and the famous engravings of imaginary

contrast to traditional Japanese architecture.

that the structure may be said to be composed

prisons in which he must have expressed his own

Japanese architecture is markedly horizontal

around a huge spherical volume. It is when this

sense of alienation from reality.

and non-geometrical, and hence characterized

structure is illuminated from an oculus nine meters

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MATER GEOME

I first experienced space in architecture inside

by irregular spaces. It is, in a sense, an archi-

in diameter at the top of the dome that architectural

In particular, his interiors of prisons, which em-

tecture without form. Architecture is integrated

space truly becomes manifest. A condition such as

body that quality we have come to call Piranesian,

with nature, and space is seemingly adrift. The


RIALS, ETRY, 6


ERIALS, METRY, ATURE

7


Pantheon and Piranesian interiors, because they

solid, but it is often a three-dimensional frame

these three elements come together. Man is

are in complete contrast to Japanese architecture,

because

then moved by a vision that is possible, as in

represent for me western architectural space. It

I feel the latter to be a purer geometry.

the Pantheon, only with architecture.

seems to me that my work has long had as its

The last element is nature. I do not mean raw

objective the integration of these two contrasting

nature but instead domesticated nature- nature

A site always has a distinct field of force that

spatial concepts.

that has been given order by man and is in con-

affects man. The field is a language, yet not

trast to chaotic nature. Perhaps one can call

a language. The logic of nature affects one

I believe three elements are necessary for the

it order abstracted from nature: light, sky and

subjectively, and becomes clear only to those

crystallization of architecture. The first is authentic

water that have been rendered abstract. When

who seriously attempt to perceive it. Archi-

materials, that is, materials of substance such as

such a nature is introduced into a work of

tecture is ultimately a question of how one

exposed concrete or unpainted wood. The second

architecture composed, as I have said, of

responds to these demands made by the land

is pure geometry, as in the Pantheon. This is the

materials and geometry, architecture itself is

, In other words, the logic of architecture must

base or framework that endows architecture with

made abstract by nature. Architecture comes to

be adapted to the logic of nature. The aim of

presence. It might be a volume such as a Platonic

possess power and becomes radiant only when

architecture is always the creation of an

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MATERIALS, GEOMETRY, & NATURE

9


environment where the logic of nature and the

distinct relationship with its surroundings.

logic of architecture are in fierce conflict yet co-exist.

In order to bring out and make apparent the invisible logic of nature, one must oppose it

Architecture is not simply the manipulation of

with the logic of architecture. It is at this point

forms. I believe it is also the construction of

that geometry comes in. Geometry is a kind

space and, above all, the construction of a ‘place’

of game of axioms and deductive reasoning.

that serves as the foundation for space. My aim

However, it is also a symbol - one possessed

is to struggle first with the site and thereby get

of autonomy and a pre-established harmony

a vision of the architecture as a distinct place.

- of human reason, which transcends nature.

The inside and the outside of architecture are not

Ever since Vitruvius, the use of the figural

separate things but instead form one continuous

attributes of geometry - for example, simplic-

place. Architecture ought to be seen as a closed,

ity, regularity, repetition and symmetry- has

articulated domain that nevertheless maintains a

stamped architecture as a product of human

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reason, in other words, the opposite of nature.

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becomes something that stands in opposition

logic of nature and the logic of architecture

to yet co-exists with the architecture. I believe

are in fierce conflict yet co-exist.

Geometry, despite its non-arbitrary character, or

architecture becomes oriented only when this

Architecture is not simply the manipulation

even because of it, serves to concentrate diverse

happens, not only in its parts but as a whole.

of forms. I believe it is also the construction

meanings and takes on a distinct significance.

A site always has a distinct field of force that

of space and, above all, the construction of

Geometry forms not only the framework for the

affects man. The field is a language, yet not

a ‘place’ that serves as the foundation for

whole but fragments of scenes. It can be simul-

a language. The logic of nature affects one

space. My aim is to struggle first with the site

taneously a frame for a view of the surroundings

subjectively, and becomes clear only to those

and thereby get a vision of the architecture

and a screen. It can be a passageway that makes

who seriously attempt to perceive it. Architecture

as a distinct place. The inside and the outside

people walk, stop, ascend or descend. Moreover, it

is ultimately a question of how one responds

of architecture are not separate things but

can be closely related to the articulation of light. It

to these demands made by the land , In other

instead form one continuous place. Architec-

can appropriate light, concentrate shadows behind

words, the logic of architecture must be adapted

ture ought to be seen as a closed, articulated

an object, and determine the distribution of spatial

to the logic of nature. The aim of architecture is

domain that nevertheless maintains a distinct

density. The site, having undergone this process,

always the creation of an environment where the

relationship with its surroundings.


MATERIALS, GEOMETRY, & NATURE

12


13


MATERIALS, GEOMETRY, & NATURE In order to bring out and make apparent the invisible logic of nature, one must oppose it with the logic of architecture. It is at this point that geometry comes in. Geometry is a kind of game of axioms and deductive reasoning. However, it is also a symbol - one possessed of autonomy and a pre-established harmony - of human reason, which transcends nature. Ever since Vitruvius, the use of the figural attributes of geometry - for example, simplicity, regularity, repetition and symmetry- has stamped architecture as a product of human reason, in other words, the opposite of nature. Geometry, despite its non-arbitrary character, or even because of it, serves to concentrate diverse meanings and takes on a distinct significance. Geometry forms not only the framework for the whole but fragments of scenes. It can be simultaneously a frame for a

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GEO & NA view of the surroundings and a screen. It can be a passageway that makes people walk, stop, ascend or descend. Moreover, it can be closely related to the articulation of light. It can appropriate light, concentrate shadows behind an object, and determine the distribution of spatial density. The site, having undergone this process, becomes something that stands in opposition to yet coexists with the architecture. I believe architecture becomes oriented only when this happens, not only in its parts but as a whole.

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OMETRY, ATURE

MATERIALS, GEOMETRY, & NATURE

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INTERIOR, EXTERIOR

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At times walls manifest a power that borders on the

that the place is for those who are to be shunned.

violent. They have the power to divide space, trans-

Walls are symbols of separation and have been

figure place and create new domains. Walls are the

regarded as a means of closure. Having been

most basic elements of architecture, but they can

relegated to such roles, they have quite naturally

also be the most enriching.

been used only to cut off space.

Historically, walls have had negative associations

To reject what is to be abhorred and to accept

for many people. The enclosing boundary of a prison

only that which is desirable is very much a part of

immediately comes to mind when one thinks of

man’s most basic behavior, that of habitation. It

walls. and they are often perceived as devices that

is a central concern of habitation to keep out the

physically and psychologically separate the inside

external world and to protect the world inside,

from the outside. Walls are heedless of the inmate’s

to accept and assimilate only those aspects of

longing to be outside, forcibly keeping him in. To

the outside world that promote the maintenance

the outside world, the walls of the prison proclaim

of the inner realm. In other words, habitation

INTERIOR


R, 18


depends on the skillful manipulation of rejection and

places where the internal order meets the exter-

These elements are assimilated as aspects of

acceptance.

nal order, that is, the areas of fenestration in a

the architectural space. This tense relationship

building, are of extreme importance.

between inside and outside is based on the

There is generally less tension in the act of accep-

19

act of cutting Cas with a sword, which to the

tance than there is in rejection. To accept is to affirm

In my buildings, walls play a dual role, serving

Japanese is not cruel and destructive but is

and with this one tends to put down one’s guard.

both to reject and affirm. By positioning a number

instead sacred; it is a ceremonial act symbol-

However, if everything is allowed to penetrate into

of walls at certain intervals. I create openings.

izing a new disclosure. To the Japanese this

the interior, the internal world disintegrates and its

Walls are freed from the simple role of closure

act has become an end in itself. It provides a

centrality collapses. This results when there is an

and are given a new objective. They are calculat-

spiritual focus both in space and time. In that

absence of tension in the act of acceptance.

ed to accept even as they reject. The amorphous

tense moment, an object loses its definition

I believe therefore that tension should be as present

and immaterial elements of wind, sunlight, sky

and its individual and basic character becomes

in acceptance as it is in rejection. In architecture

and landscape are cut out and appropriated by

manifest. Walls ‘cut’ into sky, sunlight, wind

this tension signifies an intense confrontation

walls which serve as agents of the internal world.

and landscape at every instant, and the

between the inside and the outside. Thus, those

architecture reverberates to this continual


INTERIOR, EXTERIOR demonstration of power. The more austere the wall is, even to the point of being cold, the more it speaks to us. At times it is a sharp weapon menacing us. At times it is a mirror in which landscape and sunlight are dimly reflected. Light that diffuses around a corner and gathers in the general darkness contrasts strongly with direct light. With the passage of time these two ‘lights’ blend and enrich the space. Man and nature, mediated by architecture, meet. Contemporary culture is based on the energy produced by the liberation of the species, originating from

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INTERIOR, 21


the restraint placed on its desires. Once a desire

symmetrical compositions and limited

enriched if these interstices are structured ac-

approaches satisfaction, it grows larger and

materials constitutes a challenge to contem-

cording to a clear design and made meaningful

stimulates other ambitions. Man enters a never-

porary civilization.

as architectural spaces.

excessive desires. What really enriches an

Introducing nature into a building has been an

The courtyard in the Azuma House occupies

individual’s life in an age such as ours? It is

important theme in my work since the design of

one third of the site and links the inside with

important to discover what is essential to human

the Azuma House in 1976 A courtyard may draw

the outside, It is a device for appropriating

life and to consider what abundance truly means.

one’s attention to its blank, interstitial quality,

a fragment of nature. By nature I mean not

but rarely does it have a presence as strong as

an artificial and domesticated nature, but

An architectural space stripped of all excess and

that of the building itself. I believe that such

a true nature that is capable of confronting the

composed simply from bare necessities is true

interstices should have as much significance as

individual. Of course, bringing nature into

and convincing because it is appropriate and

the buildings themselves. If a building is to have

the house tends to make life more severe.

satisfying. Simplification through the elimination of

presence and individuality, its interstices must

However, it was precisely in this way that

all surface decorations, the employment of minimal,

also be given their intrinsic logic A building is

traditional Japanese townhouses were

ending cycle and becomes dominated by his own

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23

enriched despite their physically cramped form and

I do not believe architecture should speak too

spatial impoverishment. Today’s residential spaces

much. It should remain silent and let nature in

may be quite comfortable and functional, but a

the guise of sunlight and wind speak. Sunlight

house into which nature has been introduced is

changes in quality with the passage of time. It

more suitable for man and is more true to the basic

may gently pervade space at one moment, and

character of the house. The courtyard is an import-

stab through it like a blade at the next. At times it

ant place where seasonal changes can be directly

is almost as if one could reach out and touch the

perceived through the senses. The expression of

light. Wind and rain are equally transformed by

nature changes constantly. Sunlight, wind and rain

seasonal change. They can be chilling or gentle

affect the senses and give variety to life. Architec-

and pleasant. They activate space, make us

ture in this way becomes a medium by which man

aware of the season, and nurture within us a

comes into contact with nature.

finer sensitivity.

INT


TERIOR, 24


THE WALL AS TERRITORIAL DELINEATION The erection of a single post has the effect of

primitive significance of the post and the wall.

interrupting a scene. Similarly, a single wall severs,

25

Another is its establishment of rhythm by means of colonnades, or rows of posts. The

interrupts, opposes and violently alters the site on

The post’s verticality gives it a symbolic quality

colonnade suggests a partition, and its move-

which it is placed; it begins to show signs of

which has been traditionally acknowledged in

ment is horizontal instead of soaring. The de-

evolution into architecture. At the same time,

Japanese architecture. For instance, the sacred,

velopment of the modern rigid-frame structure

shadows cast on the wall by the leaves of near-

non-structural posts that form an important part

undeniably liberated architectural spaces, but

by trees can cause the wall to blend with its

of the great lse and lzumo shrines represent a

in giving precedence to function it underplayed

landscape. Generally, various elements coexist in a

simple kind of religious faith. The massive post

the significance of the past.

series of mutual rhetorical relationships. But in the

called the daikokubashira in the vernacular

urban environment surrounding us in Japan today,

Japanese farmhouse dominates the surrounding

The rigid-frame system is based on modern-

in spite of an over-abundance of material things, it

spaces. It symbolizes the authority of the head of

ization and economic balance. It has robbed

is difficult to establish such relationships. I believe

the house, and the strength involved in supporting

the post of its myths and the colonnade of its

that the first step to take in revitalizing such an

the roof over the family. One of the most signifi-

rhythm. Under such circumstances, the wall

environment is that of reconsidering the basic,

cant uses of the post is as a definer of space.

emerges as a major theme. I am not attempt-


THE WALL AS TERRITO 26


THE WALL AS TERRITOR DELINEATION

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RIAL N ing to make relative comparisons between the

of the greatest significance. I employ the wall

bounding walls are protective devices for

post and the wall or to claim that the wall is in any

to delineate a space that is physically and

the interior. At the same time they reflect the

way superior to the post. Instead I have in mind

psychologically isolated from the outside world.

changes taking place in the natural world

an operation in which the wall and the post are rhetorically interrelated.

and help to introduce it into the daily lives As is suggested by their application in the

of the inhabitants. The limiting operation

house, I am implying that walls can be used to

of the walls directly reveals the boldness

The cheap scrawl and crowded conditions of the

help break the unlimited monotony and random

of the house itself.

modern Japanese city reduce the liberation of

irrelevance of walls as they appear in the

space by modern architectural means, and the

modern urban environment. In other words,

resulting close connection between interior and

I think walls can be used to control walls. In

exterior, to a mere dream. Today, the major task is

the Matsumoto House, for example, walls

building walls that cut the interior off entirely from

which stand independently in the world of

the exterior In this process, the ambiguity of the

nature delineate a territory for human habitation.

wall, which is simultaneously interior and exterior is

Inexpressive in themselves, the two major

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