Ando, Tadao

Ando, Tadao tädäō ändō [key], 1941–, Japanese architect, b. Osaka. The majority of his buildings are in Japan; he is particularly known for religious structures and museums. Informally apprenticed to a Japanese master carpenter, Ando is otherwise self-taught. He traveled widely in the 1960s, reading and absorbing architecture firsthand, and opened his own firm in 1970. A few years later he achieved early public recognition for his house commissions. His work matured in the 1980s and by late in the decade he was creating outstanding public buildings, such as the Church of the Light, Hokkaido, Japan (1988), and the Church on the Water, Osaka (1988). By then, he had become widely known for his synthesis of modern Western architecture and an exquisite Japanese sensibility.

At his best, Ando creates serenely austere, unornamented structures made of silky smooth concrete punctuated by sheets of plate glass. His works contrast simple masses and planes with the play of light and natural elements, emphasizing function, strength, and beauty. He won substantial acclaim for his first public commission in the United States, the handsome Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis (2001), and for the ambitious Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, Tex. (2002), which features glass-walled pavilions that appear to float upon a lagoon. Ando's low-slung Clark Center, Williamstown, Mass. (2014), an elegant glass, concrete, and red granite structure set on a reflecting pool, is the centerpiece of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute's extensive, environmentally conscious expansion. Ando was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995.

See his Architecture and Spirit (1999) and Light and Water (2002); R. Pare, Tadao Ando: The Colours of Light (2d ed. 2000); studies by F. Dal Co, ed. (1996) and P. T. Hien (1998).

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