The po­etry of Tadao Ando's raw con­crete

Domus - - RASSEGNA - Edited by Gi­u­lia Guzzini

Rough and es­sen­tial. Rig­or­ous and geo­met­ric. Tadao Ando’s ar­chi­tec­tural style is the re­sult of the orig­i­nal way he works with con­crete. Luigi Cocco, the en­gi­neer who has al­ways worked along­side Ando in his Ital­ian projects, guides us in a close-up look at the con­struc­tion tech­niques used by the Ja­panese master What con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als are tra­di­tion­ally used in Ja­panese ar­chi­tec­ture?

In Ja­pan, tra­di­tion­ally tim­ber was used for civil con­struc­tions, partly be­cause it is in plen­ti­ful sup­ply there and partly for seis­mic rea­sons as it is very elas­tic. When they be­gan to build tall build­ings, how­ever, they moved from tim­ber to metal and started to make struc­tures in steel that were then clad in con­crete for fire pro­tec­tion. For the Ja­panese, con­crete was al­ways seen as a sec­ondary ma­te­rial, util­i­tar­ian and func­tional, used for the more ba­sic, cheaper con­struc­tions.

How does Ando fit into this con­struc­tion tra­di­tion?

Ando has cre­ated his own way of us­ing con­crete, al­ter­ing the ap­proach that in Ja­pan was re­garded a cheap tech­nol­ogy in­volv­ing the use of form­work pan­els mea­sur­ing 900 x 1800 mm. These pan­els, used in Ja­pan to pour the con­crete for re­tain­ing walls or for sim­ple, cheap con­struc­tions were the same wooden pan­els orig­i­nally used for mak­ing tatami mats, the tra­di­tional Ja­panese floor­ing. These rec­tan­gu­lar pan­els in light­weight wood, ply or chip­board, and cov­ered in wo­ven reed straw tra­di­tion­ally mea­sured 900 x 1800 mm, more or less equiv­a­lent to the space oc­cu­pied by a per­son ly­ing down. Ando, hav­ing ac­cess to this tech­nol­ogy, used by any or­di­nary Ja­panese builder, in­ter­preted the sim­ple ge­om­e­try and ar­ranged it to cre­ate his ar­chi­tec­ture.

So that ac­counts for the rig­or­ous geo­met­ric rhythm of his ar­chi­tec­tural style…

Yes — us­ing the tra­di­tional form­work panel as a di­men­sional unit, his build­ings are gen­er­ally mul­ti­ples of the ba­sic 90 x 1800 mm mod­ule.

How did you re­ceive and adapt in Italy the build­ing tech­nol­ogy put for­ward by Ando?

When we met Ando for the first time in 1992, to work on the project to ex­tend Villa Pastega Man­era, in Italy, con­crete was not con­sid­ered a poor ma­te­rial and was treated us­ing more ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy. While in Ja­pan, us­ing very thin shut­ter­ing pan­els, derived from chip­board pan­els for tatami, they used a lot of form ties to pre­vent the panel de­form­ing dur­ing the con­crete cast­ing, our tech­nol­ogy al­lowed us to re­duce the num­ber of form ties, be­cause we were al­ready us­ing much stiffer pan­els. The holes from the ties in the form­work are vis­i­ble on the sur­face of the con­crete. If we look at Punta della Do­gana, for ex­am­ple, one row of holes is real, and tech­ni­cally served for cast­ing, while one row is false, we have made holes to recre­ate the geo­met­ric de­sign that Ando wanted. Open­ing page: the photo high­lights the per­fect align­ment of four con­crete pan­els. The holes of the form ties for the shut­ter­ing ap­pear equidis­tant from one an­other, on each panel. This spread, right: Punta della Do­gana, cen­tral pa­tio on the first floor, ac­cess ramp be­tween the two bays for cre­at­ing the con­nec­tion to the ex­hi­bi­tion ar­eas. Be­low: Punta della Do­gana, ground floor, sec­ond ex­hi­bi­tion hall, full height with struc­ture in con­crete to hide the ser­vices. The struc­ture shows the per­fect align­ment of the pan­els both hor­i­zon­tally and ver­ti­cally

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.