reflets de lumière

Tadao Ando

Posted in Architecture, Print by B on September 19, 2010


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977

_____

“Here and there in his oeuvre there is a deliberate monotony and repetitiveness designed to induce stillness, timelessness and quietude. In such moments he is able to express this rarefaction with an architecture of the utmost simplicity, and it is up to us not to miss these rare and unfamiliar experiences. Even in Japan, Ando’s architecture is often and too easily seen as mere nostalgia, a commonplace which Ando himself does not seem to refute. His cool style is seen as carrying forward a certain kind of Japanese tradition which cultivates a particularly charming relationship with nature.

Partly because of Ando himself (there are significant differences between what he says and what he does) it is all too easy for some to see him as one who has found a way around the crisis of Modernism towards a great restatement of its moral positions; but only by totally ignoring the things which have been happening in architecture elsewhere is it possible to really believe this, as so many seem to. For them, Ando’s buildings show that Modernism will march on somehow, as able as it ever was to make places in which modern man can look forward to ‘living poetically‘ in some sort of re-pacified coexistence between technology and transition, nature and artifice, poetry and utility. Ando, the self-taught innocent of Osaka, shows the way as the consoles and encourages us to carry on believing that ‘Full of merit, yet poetically man Dwells on this earth‘. That line from Holderlin, borrowed from Heidegger, has been responsible for so many banalities of contemporary criticism. The architectural poetic of Ando ‘the minimalist‘ (one can hardly recall it and not squirm with embarrassment) is supposed to be able to resolve the conflict between earth and world, no less; the ‘being‘ of one and the ‘becoming‘ of the other, to paraphrase Heidegger.

Obviously, these critics find it impossible to say anything about the complex and condtradictory meanings which make up the very nerve-system of Ando’s so-called minimalit architectural language: the intertwined truths and sleights of hand, the conciseness and echoing alusiveness, the occasional gravity and the frequent severity, the fastidiousness and (at times) the imprecision. In the middle of all this Ando, just occasionally, with ‘the candour of the fox and the cunning of the dove‘ hits on something that reaches the very highest level of serious and tragic discourse, crossing the line beyind which there is nothing but life itself, in all its emptiness.

In such moments when truth is able to get the better of trickery and he is able to acknowledge how precarious and painful it is to exist, Ando does return to tradition, but only to make a helpless and disconsolate architecture which sets out precisely how irreconcilable the distance is that separates tradition from real life. Hence the complete absence of anything playful in his architecture and his fondness for Piranesi’s Le Carceri; it is only the dark side of Piranesi’s mind that interest Ando. To salute him as the Messiah of a newly re-pacified Modernity is to strip his work of all its significance and nobility. Tadao Ando, at his most sincere, expresses on the devastation which marks the greatest moment in Japanese art, says how remote and inaccessible tradition is and demonstrates how pointless it is to think that simply to live in a beautiful house could in any way bring peace to the world.”

_____

Dal, Co Francesco, and Tadao Andō. Tadao Ando: Complete Works. London: Phaidon, 1995. Print.

_____

Tadao Ando

Francesco Dal

Phaidon

Dal, Co Francesco, and Tadao Andō. Tadao Ando: Complete Works. London: Phaidon, 1995. Print.
Advertisements
Tagged with: ,

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. erikpalm said, on September 23, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Tadao Ando is my favourite architect. I’ve been lucky to visit and see some of his houses and buildings in Japan, including my all time favourite, the 4×4 House (the original one). I hope he does something in Berlin at some point. The setting here would be perfect for him I think.

    //Erik


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: