Benesse House Museum Naoshima Island Japan

Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando, born in Osaka Japan in 1941 is one of Japan’s greatest living architects. He has been honoured both nationally and internationally.

Said to be inspired by a school trip to the Imperial Hotel which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Ando claimed that this caused him to end his short-lived career as a boxer. He put himself through night school, took correspondence courses and toured the cities which were homes to some of his favourite designers. Amongst them were giants such as Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn.

Ando did not study architecture at University.

Known for his use of natural light, geometric design, nature, space and swathes of smooth matt concrete, he uses a special technique he has perfected.  Tadao was rewarded early for his extraordinary natural talent when he was awarded the Annual Prize by the Architectural Institute of Japan in 1979 for the Azuma House aka the Row House in Sumiyoshi, Japan. Other accolades followed including the Pritzker Prize.

Tadao Ando has designed so many important buildings, to pluck a few from a long and illustrious list,  the Church of Light and Church of Water in Japan, the Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth Texas, the Makomanai Takino Cemetery in Sapporo, the Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art and his contribution to the Japanese art island, Naoshima.

Naoshima Island Japan Tadao Ando Benesse House Museum

Benesse House Museum at sunset Naoshima Island, Japan. Image: Howard Morris ©


wall of books shiba ryotaro

Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum Library, Osaka, Japan Image Christopher Iwata

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