Tadao Ando: Endeavors   安藤忠雄展―挑戦―

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Model of the Atelier in OYODO in Osaka

The Benesse House realized by Tadao Ando

The Benesse House Oval, by Tadao Ando

4x4 House in Kobe by Tadao Ando

A celebration of Ando's works

As part of the celebration of its 10th anniversary, the National Arts Center in Tokyo has been putting on exceptional exhibitions since the beginning of the year. After a large retrospective devoted to the avant-garde artist, Yayoi Kusama, NACT has now opened a large exhibition on Tadao Ando, a true icon of Japanese architecture, running from September 27 to December 18 2017.

Church of Light in Ibaraki

Church of the Light in Ibaraki

Then and now

The exhibition traces the journey of this self-taught architect and his resounding work all over the world. Awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995, he belongs to the very limited group of "starchitects". Tadao Ando himself oversaw the design and organization of the exhibition. More than 200 drawings, sketches, photographs and models of all his architectural projects since the beginning of his career in 1969 are on display to the public. A chronological approach allows visitors to study the evolution of his work while dwelling on his emblematic works.

The exhibition retraces the origins of Ando's architecture through the presentation of his houses; residential projects in which Ando develops his style, characterized by the use of smooth concrete, simple geometric shapes and symbiosis with nature. Sketchbooks made during his travels in Europe and the United States in the 1960s document the beginnings of his career, and there is even a reconstruction of his workspace at the opening of his studio in Osaka in 1969. Experiencing the life of the architect!

To discover: 10 atypical Japanese houses

From Naoshima to Paris

Models of his achievements on the island of Naoshima evoke his special connection with the island. For the past 30 years, Ando has been carrying out architectural projects considered masterpieces: the Benesse House hotel and museum, Minamidera, the Chichu Art Museum, the Lee Ufan Museum and his own museum. Ando is also involved in the renovation and rehabilitation of historic monuments; works that he feels are exciting challenges. The Palazzo Grassi and Pointe de la Douane in Venice were transformed into contemporary art centers to house the art collection of businessman François Pinault. The architect is currently doing similar work at the Paris Bourse de Commerce to house the foundation of the French collector.

In the outdoor exhibition space of NACT, you can experience a full-size reproduction of its famous Church of Light in Ibaraki. Built in 1989, it is undoubtedly the most remarkable expression of his work on the contrast between light and darkness. In this retrospective, the National Center of Arts in Tokyo highlights the reasons why Tadao Ando is rightly recognized as a unique architect.

A model of Ando's projects on Naoshima

Useful information

"Tadao Ando: Endeavors" is open from September 27 to December 18, 2017

  • Where? At the National Arts Center in Tokyo
  • When? From 10:00 to 18:00 (Friday and Saturday 10:00 - 20:00, closed every Tuesday)
  • How much? 1,500 yen ($13); Students: 1,200 yen ($10.70)

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