‘En­deav­ors’ by Tadao Ando at the Na­tional Art Cen­ter, Tokyo

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Tadao Ando (b. 1941), who is known for his un­con­ven­tional ré­sumé as a for­mer pro­fes­sional boxer turned self-taught ar­chi­tect, made a start to his ar­chi­tec­tural ca­reer in 1969 as an “ur­ban guer­rilla”. He has since been con­stantly de­liv­er­ing novel de­signs that chal­lenge our pre­con­cep­tions about ar­chi­tec­ture. He be­gan ex­pand­ing the sphere of his ac­tiv­i­ties over­seas from the 1990s, and has re­alised am­bi­tious projects in na­tions through­out Asia, Europe, and both North and South Amer­ica. He has also been ac­tively en­gaged in so­cial con­tri­bu­tion projects fo­cused on en­vi­ron­men­tal restora­tion and post-dis­as­ter re­con­struc­tion. Learn about the life of the ex­tra­or­di­nary ar­chi­tect, his cre­ations, and his cur­rent am­bi­tions in this ex­hi­bi­tion, which sheds light on the great trail of en­deav­ors he has left be­hind him and on his vi­sions for the fu­ture ahead through six sec­tions ti­tled ‘Ori­gins/Houses’, ‘Light’, ‘Void Spa­ces’, ‘Read­ing the Site’, ‘Build­ing upon what ex­ists, cre­at­ing that which does not ex­ist’, and ‘Nur­tur­ing’. The ex­hi­bi­tion spa­ces fea­tur­ing more than 200 mod­els, sketches, and draw­ings that have been de­signed by the ar­chi­tect him­self. By travers­ing these spa­ces, vis­i­tors will be able to re­trace the ar­chi­tect’s foot­prints and gain a re­newed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the rich­ness and in­fi­nite po­ten­tial of the cul­ture of ar­chi­tec­ture.

For Tadao Ando, the ori­gins of ar­chi­tec­ture lie in the house, which is a re­cep­ta­cle for the fun­da­men­tal hu­man act of dwelling. It was through de­sign­ing houses that Ando per­fected the ba­sic form of his sig­na­ture ar­chi­tec­ture char­ac­ter­ized by ex­posed cast-in­place con­crete, sim­ple geo­met­ric forms, and sym­bio­sis with na­ture. This sec­tion fea­tures a se­lec­tion from the more than 100 res­i­den­tial projects Ando has de­signed, in­clud­ing his most rec­og­niz­able works from the early years of his ca­reer and large-scale works he has re­cently de­signed for sites over­seas. Tadao Ando be­gan mak­ing build­ings em­bed­ded in rich nat­u­ral set­tings in the late 1980s. Since then, he has shaped beau­ti­ful, bold land­scapes with his work in places around the world. These works share a com­mon theme in that they are in­te­grated into their sur­round­ings and aug­ment the unique char­ac­ter of their sites. This sec­tion presents a ge­nealog­i­cal record of Ando’s ar­chi­tec­tural work in nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ments and fea­tures an im­mer­sive in­stal­la­tion of the Naoshima Project, which he has de­vel­oped over the span of three decades. The ex­hi­bi­tion is on dis­play at the Na­tional Art Cen­ter, Tokyo, un­til 18 De­cem­ber, 2017.

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