Born in 1941, Tadao Ando founded his architectural firm, Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, in his hometown of Osaka in 1969. Completely self- taught, Ando’s approach to architecture stems from his engagement with nature, linking international Modernism to Japanese traditional aesthetics. In his designs, his renowned smooth concrete structures complement his sensibility to space and light, harmonising one another as if the light itself dances within the renowned concrete forms. His style is greatly influenced by religion, specifically Zen, that focuses on the concept of simplicity and inner feeling rather than outward appearance.
In 1995, Tadao Ando was awarded Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize for accomplishing an extraordinary body of architectural work both in Japan and internationally. Other awards include Carlsberg Architectural Prize in 1992; Kyoto Prize in 2002; Royal; Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italy in 2013.
Some of Ando’s distinguished projects in the US include the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Texas, and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Photographed by Paul Barbera Text Queenie Chan