2008 10.3-2008 12.20
Architect Tadao Ando's Exhibition "Row House in Sumiyoshi" will be shown in a full - scale model.

The Wind That Blows Through Architecture

The heart of Row House in Sumiyoshi, my debut work, is a courtyard that occupies a third of the small site. It can get extremely cold in winter, because nature is introduced directly into the dwelling. On rainy days, an umbrella is needed to go to the toilet. This proposal, which forces dwellers to put up with inconveniences in everyday life, was criticized by some as an example of high-handed behavior by the architect.

But what aspect of a dwelling gives those living in it joy? It is all a question of values. Confronted by the vulgar urban environment of downtown Osaka, I thought long and hard about the meaning of life and dwelling and came to the conclusion that coexistence with nature was fundamental to human life. Spatial and budgetary constraints were extremely tight for this urban dwelling. That was precisely why I gave priority, not to some facile notion of convenience, but to being able to look up to sky and feel the wind.

This small house was the starting point for more than 30 years of continuous architectural activity. As the years go by, the works have become bigger and more complex. Today, I am engaged in urban projects in countries all over the world, from Europe and the United States to the Middle East and Asia.

However, my basic stance with respect to what is to be expressed through architecture has remained unchanged. Whether it is a concrete row house of less than 50 square meters in floor area, a monumental cultural facility being planned in Abu Dhabi, or an urban restructuring project in progress in Tokyo that has the environment as its theme--what I always imagine is an architecture through which the wind blows, stirring people's emotions, an architecture that coexists with nature and purifies the spirit.

Tadao Ando

The architect Tadao Ando became widely known to society in the 1970s through "Urban Guerrilla House", his first essay and manifesto, written for the architectural magazine Toshi Jutaku, and Row House in Sumiyoshi, the work that embodied the ideas in the manifesto. Since then he has continued to create innovative architectural works that are critical of contemporary society. Since the late 1990s, he has gradually expanded his field of activity overseas until today, he is engaged in work all over the world, from Europe and the United States to Asia and the Middle East.

This exhibition is intended to review and summarize his 30 years of architectural activity, focusing on the places in which the works have been created. The projects taken up here differ entirely, not only in place (i.e. Osaka, Kobe, Tokyo, Venice, Abu Dhabi, Mexico and Bahrain), but state of progress, size and program. However, a consistent architectural philosophy is to be found in the diverse designs. It is a comprehensive approach to architecture, one that sees architecture not as the design of individual buildings but as a means of forming the environment, and an architectural method grounded in nature that attempts to achieve the coexistence of nature and architecture.

In the gallery, a mock-up of the Row House in Sumiyoshi, Ando's architectural starting point, has been built. In addition, his buildings, which are living, integral parts of their respective places, are introduced by different means such as sketches, models, drawings and videos in order to convey their essential character.

Tadao Ando has become one of the most famous and popular architects not only in Japan, but through the world. However, it can not be said that his early days as an architect were conventional. Amazingly, he learned architecture by just himself, then he swapped his career as a boxer for that of an architect. When he established his own atelier in 1969, he was just 28 years old, and there was not much work, but plenty of free time. The only thing he could do was to read various architectural books, and to plan projects that he had not yet been requested to do. Whoever could imagine that a man such humble beginnings would be one of the greatest architects worldwide within 40 years?

It was a tiny concrete house that made him famous, and since then, his exploration of architectural ideas has continued ambitiously. He believes that he must constantly fight and challenge stereotypical architecture. Because of this, his works will always impress us. He will show you an essence of his expanding architecture world in our small space, GALLERY MA.

This exhibition will be held to celebrate the publication of the complete anthology “Tadao Ando” series by TOTO Shuppan. Including “Tadao Ando 1” (Housing & Housing), and “Tadao Ando 2” (Outside Japan) which are on sale before the exhibition opens, and “Tadao Ando 3” (Inside Japan) which will be released at the same time as the exhibition. Please check them out.

Tadao Ando3(Inside Japan)Now on Sale!!
Tadao Ando2(Outside Japan)Now on Sale!!

Tadao Ando1(Houses & Housing)Now on Sale!!


Closed on Sun.Mon.National Holidays (We will be specially opened on the 26t,27th Oct.,2nd and 3rd NOV.)

Admission FREE

Row House in Sumiyoshi, Osaka, 1976
Row House in Sumiyoshi, Osaka, 1976
©Tadao Ando Architect & Associates
Tokyu Toyoko-Line shibuya Station / Model, Tokyo, 2008
Tokyu Toyoko-Line Shibuya Station / Model, Tokyo, 2008
©Tadao Ando Architect & Associates
Punta della Dogana Renovation / Model, Venice, Italy, 2007-
Punta della Dogana Renovation
Model, Venice, Italy, 2007-
©Tadao Ando Architect & Associates
Abu Dhabi Maritime Museum, Abu Dhabi / Model, UAE, 2006-
Abu Dhabi Maritime Museum,
Model, Abu Dhabi UAE, 2006-
©Tomio Ohashi

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