Libmonster ID: U.S.-1283
Author(s) of the publication: N. A. KONOVALOVA


Candidate of Art History

KeywordsTadao AndoJapanese architectureinteriorlandscape

Tadao Ando - one of the most famous and recognized architects in the world - will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2011. He has received numerous awards in his home country, Japan; the winner of the most prestigious awards in the world: the Alvar Aalto Prize (1985), the French Academy of Architecture (1989), the Carlsberg Prize (1992) and the Pritzker Prize (1995), and the Royal Institute of British Architects (1997).

Tadao Ando is a self-taught architect. And today, when communicating with students of some prestigious architectural institution of the West or East, they will definitely say that visiting a university is not the main thing in mastering the profession, an architect must feel the design, everything else can be studied independently.1

It's no secret that childhood, family, and youthful hobbies leave a serious imprint on both the perception of life and creativity. Ando spent his childhood on the streets of Osaka, where he learned to take risks and never give up. Ando is still the same daredevil he was when he was young as an adult. Professional boxing made him tough, able to hold a punch and achieve the maximum. Just as you can't box half-heartedly, otherwise you will quickly go to a knockout, so in creativity it is impossible to "take" a new peak without giving your all, Ando believes.

This is what determined the choice of construction material-concrete, which most fully meets all the requirements of the architect, and therefore became a kind of business card of the master. In each of his buildings, the architect shows its beauty and texture. Revealing the aesthetics of concrete - the path followed by more than one great architect of the XX century. Le Corbusier, Mendelssohn, Melnikov-this is only an incomplete list of talented masters who left an architectural heritage in concrete, which has become a world value.


Tadao Ando always invests in the construction of a subtle understanding of beauty in its transience and variability, characteristic of Japanese culture. A special role is assigned to light, which creates an artistic image necessary for the perception of the work as a whole. Not only the contours, but also the volume and depth of things, according to Japanese aesthetics, are created from light and shadow. Their interconnection gives the space an individual feel and breathes the soul into a piece of architecture.

The daylight source itself becomes a work of art in Ando's works. Finding each time new ways of natural light entering the structure, the architect allows the building to "live" and "respond" to the effects of constantly changing the intensity and direction of sunlight.

The greatest effect of the influence of daylight on the artistic image of the work was shown in the Church of Light (1989), built in a quiet residential area of Osaka. The location of the church was precisely determined relative to the existing buildings to maximize the use of sunlight. The interior of a small religious building, built of raw concrete, consists exclusively of space and light. In the church, apart from the lamp in front of the pulpit and three modest lamps on the wall, there are no other sources of artificial lighting. Diffused light coming through the cross-shaped slits in the "Wall of Sanctity" fills the empty interior, creating a muted atmosphere of peace and quiet. Thanks to the architectural design of the church, a "cross of the Holy Cross" is formed within its borders.-

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ta", which is necessary for full perception of the entire structure.

In the Church of Light, Ando developed the artistic techniques found by the Japanese master of architecture Kenzo Tange and embodied by him in the Cathedral of St. Mary (Tokyo, 1964): through the cross-shaped completion of the cathedral, which is a light opening, the sun's rays penetrate inside. Taking as a basis the construction of the Tange, the admiration for the talent of which is "in the blood" of every Japanese architect, Ando simplified the form of the work as much as possible, translating the metaphysics of meanings into the language of the simplest signs.

The Naoshima Museum of Modern Art building complex with a hotel (1992-1995) is located on the steep slope of a small island of the same name in the Inner Sea. All buildings perfectly fit into the hilly landscape, in harmony with its stepped forms. The central artistic element of the complex is an open-air hall. The circular open part of the roof, located at an angle above the pool, assumes daylight as a light source. Direct sunlight entering the building cannot make the interior flooded with sunlight, as it is reflected in the mirror-like surface of the water and returns to the outside. The play of light fills the interior with soft lighting, which in traditional Japanese homes was achieved using shoji (light panels made of thin wooden bars) and fusuma (sliding door in the form of a wooden frame pasted on both sides with paper).

Kosino House (pref. Hyogo, 1981) consists of three volumes partially hidden in a sloping hilly area. The building" hidden " in the terrain is protected from natural disasters, and during its construction, the trees growing on the site were preserved. Fully matching its multi-level rooms with a complex landscape, the structure is located among the fir trees shading it, whose dense crowns let in only the sun's glare. Two rectangular prisms, half buried in the slope, are placed parallel to each other and connected by an underground passage. The house has a courtyard that corresponds to the sloping contours of the plot. Untreated concrete structures Ando "enlivens" with the help of light exposure. The courtyard opens onto a large living room with a wide open staircase - the main objects designed to perceive the play of chiaroscuro. The only part of the house that denies right angles is the semi - circular studio plan. All rooms have openings in the ceiling, through which the sun's rays gently illuminate the interior.

Creating a residential building, Ando unconventionally solves communications between rooms, sometimes even playing with space, but does not consider it necessary to pay attention to interior design. He is confident that it is enough for clients to provide free "containers" that they can use as they wish and fill as they see fit. Ando also creates his own architecture for admiring the ever-changing nature. In this, of course, he acts as a representative of his own culture and speaks the language of the values of the Japanese national tradition.

The architecture of the Church on water (Hokkaido, 1988), in fact, absorbs elements of nature (light, wind, water, air), forming a single organism. A small, elegant church consists of two square volumes connected to each other in terms of size. The upper one is a transparent cube with four closed crosses inside. The lower one is a church room, through the glass wall of which you can look at the reservoir - a shallow artificial pool (90x45 m in size).

From December to April, the reservoir is covered with a layer of snow and is perceived from the church as a smooth white, almost endless surface, bringing peace and tranquility - that is why believers come to church. On the open surface of the reservoir, a metal cross stands out, facing the prayer room. Light space of the pond with a cross with-

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it makes an artistic and semantic contrast with the darkened room for believers.


Ando shows the greatest interest in places associated with movement in an architectural work, primarily stairs. It becomes the key element of a building that can organize the entire system of an architectural work as a whole.

Two famous buildings of the master - the Rokko complex in Kobe and the Chikatsu-Asuka Museum-share 15 years of creative career, during which not only the spatial, but also the semantic possibilities of the main architectural element - stairs-were crystallized. But if in the Rokko complex in Kobe it is the central and key element, then in the Chikatsu-Asuka Museum in Osaka and in general the only one.

In Japanese culture, the principle of integrating architecture into the environment has evolved and improved over the centuries. Ando, as a representative of Japan, perfectly conveys this aspect of its traditions. The architect's maximum use of the potential of a steep mountain slope is clearly revealed in the Rocco complex.

The first stage of the complex, designed for 20 apartments, was completed in 1983. By the end of the second stage (1993), Rocco became a 50-apartment residential complex consisting of 10 floors, or rather, high tiers, "embedded" in a steep landscape. The overall slope of the mountain is 60 degrees, but the architectural work "grows" out of it quite naturally, without any hint of the most complex design technique.

The usual solution for going up and down from ten tiers would, of course, be an elevator. However, in the Rocco complex, Ando leaves the main functional purpose behind the staircase, which occupies the central part of the building, and the elevator is given a modest place on the side. Moreover, the cab stops between the floor levels and you need to go up or down half a span to get into the apartment. Precisely calculated changes in the slope and rotation of the stairs, depending on the roughness of the mountain surface, make the physical load when moving along numerous steps completely invisible.

According to Ando, sound and light are included in the architecture of the complex as its most important components. The echo of a giant staircase transforms the sound of footsteps into musical noises, which people living there claim they can even distinguish their neighbors from strangers. In addition, this unusual staircase is distinguished by the alternation of light and shadow as a psychological factor. The most difficult moment of lifting, which a person spends in a cool penumbra that facilitates physical activity, ends with a bright, spacious platform with a beautiful view of nature.

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The staircase of the Honfukuji Buddhist Temple built on a hill (1991) is intended not only for physical, but also for semantic transition from the upper space to the lower one. A master of creating underground structures, Ando places the temple in such a way that the room can only be seen from a very close distance. The roof is a huge pond dotted with lotuses. A long staircase that divides the pond into two halves gradually leads down to the temple interior. It is the progress on this ladder that helps to create the right mood before entering the temple, immersing a person in the sacred space and preparing him for a meditative state. The staircase in the center of the religious building is its main architectural element.

Like concrete, buildings made of wood and paper, belonging to the master's hand, also differ in simplicity of form and perfection of proportions. The rejection of concrete in these cases was dictated by the initial perception of buildings as temporary objects that did not require age-old strength and the creation of the illusion of protection, being in a harsh and impregnable bunker.

The ground part of the Chikatsu-Asuka Historical Museum (1994) consists only of a tower and a giant staircase that occupies a huge space. The staircase is used as an auditorium, from which you can see the ancient burial mounds preserved on this territory, i.e. the surrounding area also becomes a kind of museum exhibit.

For the first time, wood, a traditional material for Japanese architecture, was chosen by Ando for the national pavilion of Japan at the 1992 World's Fair. (Seville, Spain). According to the architect's plan, the pavilion was supposed to be talked about in all parts of the world. And so it happened. The result of the master's creative efforts was one of the largest wooden structures on the planet-25 m high, 60 m wide and 40 m deep. The exterior walls of the pavilion are made of cedar beams fixed on a steel frame. The facade of the building is strongly inclined inward. The architect divided the building into four tiers, two of which occupied underground space, the third-is located at ground level. Visitors began their tour from the fourth level, gradually descending. A large bridge (11 m long) led to the upper tier with a gallery in the center. Only a small part of it, occupied by the escalator, was given to visitors, the rest was a huge empty space. The architect himself conceived this bridge as a "transport to the world of dreams" 2.

The extreme conciseness of the pavilion's form served to solve two major tasks: it demonstrated a technically perfect work and allowed visitors to "plunge" into the atmosphere of traditional Japanese architecture. In one of his letters sent on June 28, 1989 to the famous American architect Peter Eisenman, Ando formulates a key idea for his work: "I would like to create an architecture that conveys even denser and more complex meanings through even more simplified forms."3. Ando does not change this belief.

The constant desire of the master to achieve purity of form and manage its capabilities is embodied in the rejection of all non-essential details, which is legitimate for any purpose and size of buildings.


In recent years, the creation of original private houses of absolutely miniature sizes has become very widespread in Japan. In each project of such a house, architects try to find a kind of counterbalance to the miniature living space. To do this, all the building elements are included in the game, which maximally reveals the advantages of a microdome, as well as aimed at creating a unique individual home. The most common method of "expanding" a small space can be considered avoiding its isolation. The effect is achieved by opening panoramic views from the house. It is important that for the Japanese, the views are of primary importance, and not the completeness of the view that opens from the windows. Having a panoramic view has a positive psychological impact. This aspect of contemplation fully corresponds to the tradition of Zen Buddhism. It is on this basis that the opening of the house to the outside is built, its "interaction" with the environment. The expansion of space can definitely be considered one of Ando's most striking and eloquent finds. This principle is based, for example, on the main feature of the famous 4 x 4 Houses built by T. Ando in Kobe. With a total area of 84 m2 of each house, the area of its base is 23 m2, and the main living area (4th floor of each house) is the same size.

Ando finished his first 4x4 house in 2003, but then a client was found who persuaded the architect to build the same house for him. Ando agreed on the condition that the second house would stand next to the first. This will allow you to make both buildings compositionally complementary, and instead of two separate separate structures, you will get a single whole that organizes its own microcosm. Both buildings, being a mirror image of each other, are united not only by a common function, but also by a common symbolism, a single semantic content, which is also achieved by common artistic techniques.

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Both buildings, which are shaped like a tower, show by their appearance how expressive a small structure can be from an architectural point of view. After looking at each of them, you immediately want to go up to the top floor to admire the view from there. The upper, fourth floor in the form of a large cube, prominent, as if growing out of the lower three floors of the structure, is designed with an entirely glazed wall in order to enjoy a magnificent view of the Inner Sea of Japan.

Ando called his buildings " the gateway to the sea."4. But in addition to the beautiful view, there is also a deep meaning behind it. They also offer views of the Akashi Kaiko Bridge and Awaji Island, which was the epicenter of the great 1995 earthquake that devastated Kobe. Both houses are located on the coastline, just four kilometers from the island of Awaji. Huge, full-length windows are also evidence of the inextinguishable memory of both the customer and the architect about this earthquake and its victims.


They often write about the inseparable unity of architecture and nature as a characteristic feature of Japanese culture. Tadao Ando believes that the juxtaposition of architecture and nature was typical of traditional Japan, but those times are long gone. He is convinced that today their confrontation must be present and continue, creating a certain tension necessary for their organic coexistence and, no less important, for an adequate perception and evaluation of architecture. Ando not only demonstrates the harmonious coexistence of architecture and nature, but also shows the possibilities of their mutual disclosure and enrichment.

A striking example of architecture that reveals its potential in dialogue with nature is the Children's Museum (1989), located in Hyuga Prefecture. Before entering the museum, the visitor will have the necessary long walk along the concrete wall in order to focus his attention on the surrounding landscape. The road to the museum leads up a steep landscape where smooth squares alternate with a flight of steps. This road symbolically and functionally refers us to a stone-flagged path in a traditional Japanese garden, the main purpose of which is to focus the visitor's attention on certain paintings of the landscape. This is how the museum, soaring upwards, echoes the heritage of its culture, borrowing from it a well-established mechanism for the impact of architecture on the consciousness and mood of a person.

Largely due to the work of Tadao Ando, Japanese architecture still retains its leading positions in the world, which it reached in the 60s of the XX century. Buildings designed by Ando always convey Japanese traditions-but not literally, "head-on", but at a higher level (but this does not make them less accessible). After all, the master uses not only the intellect, but also the emotions and feelings of people. At the same time, it strictly follows its own rule: "First you must connect your feelings, before the hearts of other people tremble about your work"5.

1 From an interview with Tadao Ando - When I'm at a construction site, workers come to take pictures / / Kommersant-Vlast. 29.08.2005.

2 The Japan Architect, 1992, N 3, p. 110.

3 From T. Ando's correspondence with P. Eisenman - see: Tadao Ando. Tokyo, 1991. Vol. 2, p. 39-40.

4 Cit. by: Architecture in Japan. Tokyo, 2006, p. 28.

Jodidio P. 5 Tadao Ando. N.Y., Taschen, 2004, p. 380.


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