Tadao Ando * Limited Book

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Tadao Ando was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1941. A self-educated architect with roots in Osaka, he spent time in nearby Kyoto and Nara, studying first-hand the great monuments of traditional Japanese architecture. Between 1962 and 1969 he traveled to the United States, Europe, and Africa, learning about Western architecture, history, and 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 and Associates in Osaka.


This book, created at the height of Ando’s illustrious career, presents his complete works to date. Limited to 300 numbered copies, presented in a matt-finish custom oakwood-box designed by the architect. In addition, each copy of this Art Edition comes with an individual sketch hand-drawn and signed by Tadao Ando. This book, created at the height of Ando’s illustrious career, presents his complete works to date by TASCHEN.



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Philippe Starck describes him as a “mystic in a country which is no longer mystic”. Philip Drew calls his buildings “land art” that “struggle to emerge from the earth”. He is the only architect to have won the discipline’s four most prestigious prizes: the Pritzker, Carlsberg, Praemium Imperiale, and Kyoto Prize. His name is Tadao Ando, and he is one of the greatest living architects. Combining influences from Japanese tradition with the best of Modernism, Ando has developed a completely unique building aesthetic that makes use of concrete, wood, water, light, space, and nature in a way that has never been witnessed in architecture. Ando has designed award-winning private homes, churches, museums, apartment complexes, and cultural spaces throughout Japan, as well as in France, Italy, Spain, and the USA.


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Tadao Ando * Limited Book church image


Tadao Ando often uses Zen philosophies when conceptualizing his structures. One theme he expresses in this work is the dual nature of existence. The space of the chapel is defined by light, the strong contrast between light and solid. In the chapel light enters from behind the altar from a cross cut in the concrete wall that extends vertically from floor to ceiling and horizontally from wall to wall, aligning perfectly with the joints in the concrete. At this intersection of light and solid the occupant is meant to become aware of the deep division between the spiritual and the secular within himself or herself.

One feature of the interior is its profound emptiness. Many who enter the church say they find it disturbing. The distinct void space and absolute quiet amounts to a sense of serenity. For Ando the idea of ’emptiness’ means something different. It is meant to transfer someone into the realm of the spiritual. The emptiness is meant to invade the occupant so there is room for the ‘spiritual’ to fill them.


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