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• Tadao Ando's body

of work is known for the
creative use of natural light and
TADAO ANDO for structures that follow
natural forms of the landscape,
rather than disturbing the
landscape by making it conform
to the constructed space of a

• He is the winner of the 1995
pritzker prize
• Alvar Aalto Medal, 1985
• Carlsberg Architectural Prize,
• RIBA royal gold medal 1997
• AIA Gold Medal2002
• Neutra Medal for Professional
Born: September 13, 1941 Excellence, 2012
Self taught Japanese architect
• Ando was raised in Japan where the religion and
style of life strongly influenced his architecture
and design.
• Ando's architectural style is said to create a
"haiku" effect, emphasizing nothingness and
empty space to represent the beauty of
• He favours designing complex (yet beautifully
simple) spatial circulation while maintaining the
appearance of simplicity.
• The first house to emerge as a result of a competition
organised by a magazine and presented to the client with the
famous architect, Tadao Ando.
• The 4×4 House was adapted to the requirements of the site. A
decisive factor in the project was the Hanshin earthquake
which had caused terrible devastation in the area.
• An unusual location, on a narrow and chaotic strip of land
very close to the epicentre of the earthquake on the 17th of
August 1995, with a landowner willing to follow his architect.
• He permitted Ando to convert the site into a ground-breaking
house, silently remembering the great seism.
• Once the construction was finished, another client
asked Tadao Ando for a similar house on a neighbouring piece
of land. With this commission, the architect could complete
his original idea of two houses, though without the
communication between them that he had envisioned, and
using different materials.
• The houses are located near the Hyogo coast, on the
outskirts of Kobe, along a commercial strip
• It is bordered by a dual carriageway and train tracks
to the North and, on its other side, by the widest-
spanning bridge in Japan, the Akashi Strait, where
the sandy beach meets the Seto Inland Sea.
• One of the factors which attracted the architect’s
attention was the view over the island of Awaji.
• the epicentre of the Hanshin earthquake in 1995
and where he built the Temple of Water and the
• The first house was built on a small parcel of land of
65m². The second on the adjacent plot was 74m².
• An important part of the concept of the 4×4 house was not only
the treatment of light and water, but also the sound of the wind.
• The house combined a rigorous use of geometry with the
intention to create a piece of architecture which, in this case,
becomes part of the sea.
• Tadao Ando uses geometric bases for his designs: squares,
circles, triangles and rectangles.
• He is always looking to achieve the balance between the
building and the natural surroundings.
• For Ando it is truly important that the individuals who occupy
his buildings have the spiritual and intellectual experience; like
that of reading a poem or listening to music in a calm and
strong environment.
• In this case, the concept is reflected in the displaced cube
situated on the highest level, connecting the individual with the
• I try to use the forces in a space to restore the unity between the
house and nature.
• Each floor is a concrete mass which together acts
like a lighthouse, dominating the view over the sea.
• The house is of minimal dimensions in terms of
floor-span: approximately 4×4 metres which
ascends in height (basement, ground floor and
three upper floors).
• The second house is differentiated from the first,
essentially in the vertical circulation and in
materials used for its construction.
• While the first comprises a staircase, the second
uses an elevator.
• Another difference is the principal material: the
original house was built entirely from concrete,
while the second was made from wood.
• On each of the floors a distinct function is developed: a
storeroom in the basement, entryway and service area on
the ground floor, a bedroom on the first floor, study on the
second and, on the final floor, a combined kitchen, dining
room and living room which forms the focal point of the
• This final level is a 4 metre cube with a floor-to-ceiling glass
elevation on the South-East side which towers over the
water like a gigantic, square telescopic lens and captures the
• On the opposite side, a large triforium shows a slice of the
• The displacement of the cube on the final level gains little
useful space in compensation for that occupied by the stairs
on the left side, which emphasise the lineal grid in which the
circulation is developed within the house and extend from
the first to the fourth floor.
• The basement, first floor and second are completely closed-
in, while the third is open on one side and the fourth on two.
• Another staircase
connects the entryway
with an exterior
concrete platform
which spreads out
across the sand and
toward the shore.
• Ando intended to
improve that part of
the beach but the
area’s construction
regulations did not
allow it, even though
the property extended
toward the sea.
• On the NORTH FACADE is the , while on the SOUTH FACADE here are two
entranceway, above which windows of different sizes which correspond
there is a rectangular window with the second and third floors.


The WESTERN FACADE is cut into with The EASTERN FACADE has three
four slim vertical windows on the corner smaller square openings, while on the
which faces the street. They illuminate the ground floor can be seen a vertical
staircase behind them and combine with window like those on the Western side.
three other small openings placed at


• As in the majority of his buildings, Tadao Ando used
reinforced concrete for the structural system of the first
construction and exposed concrete for the exterior walls
and interior ceilings.
• He also used this material for the exterior ground
surface. The frames of the windows are aluminium and
steel. In the interior, the floors are oak and the walls are
exposed concrete and painted sheets of plaster.
• Ando encased the house in concrete and, for reasons of
privacy, minimised the openings, principally in the façades
which faced the land-side.
• Even in the front façade, there is simply a concrete wall with
just one small window and a door.
• Due to the harsh natural conditions of the area, the architect
firmly anchored the concrete structure below the ground,
which strengthens its resistance to lateral forces.
• In addition to covering the thick glass of the cube with a
shatter-proof film, he reinforced the glass with steel
• Tadao Ando applied a waterproof sealant on all of the exterior
concrete surfaces and placed additional pipes to carry the
water to the roof, which could be accessed by a hatch in the
kitchen. The water would then have the sea salt eliminated
from it by means of a hose-based system.
• Visually, the offset cube on the top floor of the
building appears much bigger than the others,
however, it is of the same size.
• The organisation of the building is similar to the
KEN organisational framework, a traditional
Japanese method which governs the structure and
the additive sequence, from space to space.
• The 4×4 cube, which is displaced a metre from the
main vertical axis on the top floor, together with the
vast transparent windows, lend a higher level of
importance to the design.
• The cube produces a seemingly larger visual scale, in
spite of it being the same as the other cubes which
form the tower: 4×4.
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Meditation Space, UNESCO

Tokyo Skytree (2009)


Suntory Museum in Osaka (1994)

21_21 Design Sight (2007)