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