Tadao Ando Japanese, b. 1941


Tadao Ando is a self-taught architect born in 1941 in Osaka, Japan. Growing up as Japan recovered from the war, Tadao Ando spent the most of time out of doors. His first interest in architecture was nourished at the age of 15 after buying a book of Le Corbusier sketches. Of this, Ando described, "I traced the drawings of his early period so many times, that all pages turned black..in my mind I quite often wonder how Le Corbusier would have thought about this project or that." He took a number of visits to the United States, Europe and Africa in the period between 1962 and 1969, and founded Tadao Ando Architectural & Associates in Osaka in 1969.


Characteristics of his work include large expanses of unadorned architectural concrete walls combined with wooden or stone floors and large windows. Active natural elements, like sun, rain, and wind are a distinctive inclusion to his style. He has designed many notable buildings, including Row House in Sumiyoshi, Osaka, Japan (1976) which earned him the Annual Prize of Architectural Institute of Japan (1979); Church of the Light, Osaka, Japan (1989); Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis, Missouri (2001); Armani Teatro, Milan, Italy (2001); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2002), Chichu Art Museum, Naoshima, Japan (2004), and 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT in Tokyo, Japan (2007). Notable awards include the Gold Medal of Architecture, Academie d'Architecture (1989); The Pritzker Architecture Prize (1995); Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects (2002), and Gold Medal of Union Internationale des Architectes (2005). Ando is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the Royal Academy of Arts in London.