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Tadao Ando and the Power of Light
Curated Mid-Century Modern Home Listings Across the U.S.A.
Tadao Ando is a self-educated modern master. The Japanese architect’s work has been described as “reductivist, but far from simple.” Progressive Architecture expounds, saying, “all of his restraint seems aimed at focusing our attention on the relationships of his ample volumes and the play of light on his walls.”
Ando was born in Osaka in 1941. The homogenous dark row housing he grew up in influenced his life-long mission to create dramatic light-filled spaces. Before discovering his ultimate calling, Ando pursued a number of career paths, including professional boxing. He studied architecture on his own, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and the experimental concrete work of Le Corbusier.
After traveling through Europe, Africa and the USA, he opened his own practice in 1969 and began to win a number of small scale residential and commercial commissions, mostly in and around Osaka. From his earliest work, Ando began to establish his defining aesthetic; beautifully detailed reinforced walls, massive minimalist exteriors and light-bathed interiors, all firmly rooted in ancient Japanese principals of harmony with the natural environment.
Ando’s commissions would grow in consequence, ultimately taking him all over the World to build projects of truly remarkable scale. Some of his most notable works include the Church of Light (1990), the Art Institute of Chicago (1992), UNESCO Meditation Space in Paris (1996), the Giorgio Armani Theatre (2001), Museum of Modern Art in Forth Worth, Texas (2003), the renovation of the Palazzo Grassi in Venice (2006), the Shanghai Poly Theater (2014), and the Hill of the Buddha (2015).
“Light is the origin of all beings. Light gives, with each moment, new being and new interrelationships to things, and architecture condenses light to its most concise being. The creation of space in architecture is simply the condensation and purification of the power of light.”
— Tadao Ando