Tadao Ando

„We borrow from nature the space upon which we build.“
Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando, who was born in Osaka in 1941, is the only architect to have won all four of the most important international prizes of his field: the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Praemium Imperiale, the Carlsberg Architecture Prize, and the Kyoto Prize. And this despite the fact that he has never attended an academy or a university. Ando has instead acquired his knowledge through self-directed studies and architecture trips to the USA, Europe, and Africa. In 1969 he founded his own architectural office, Tadao Ando Architect & Associates in Osaka. Today, Tadao Ando is likely the most renowned Japanese architect in the world and has decisively influenced the way Japanese architects are perceived. His architecture combines elements of Japanese tradition with those of modernism. Characteristic for his buildings are geometric austerity and clarity, a pronounced love of concrete, and a feel for the specificity of a site. Tadao Ando held a professorship at Tokyo University through 2003 and has taught at the American Ivy League universities Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. In recent years he has become increasingly involved in eco-political issues. In 2007 he initiated the project “Umi-no-Mori” (Sea Forest) in Tokyo, which aims to turn an artificial island, which once served as a rubbish dump, into a reforested recreational area.


1941 born in Osaka, Japan
until 1969    self-educated in architecture, Travels to USA, Europe and Africa
1969 Established Tadao Ando Architect & Associates
1971 Honorary Fellow of American Institut of Architects
1993 Honorary Fellow of Royal Institute of British Architects
1997 Honorary Membership of Association of German Architects (BDA), Professor of the University of Tokio
1998 Honorary Fellow of the French Academy of Architecture
  Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
2000 Honorary Fellow of the National Association of Architects, Republic of China
2001 Honorary Membership of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
  Honorary Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts in London

Major Architectural Awards

2002   Gold Medal of the French Academy of Architecture
1997 Carlsberg Architecture-Prize, Denmark
1995 Pritzker-Prize, USA
1992 Royal Gold Medal, Royal Institute of British Architects
1989 Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects, Kyoto Preis, Japan

Picture note: Tadao Ando, photographed at the Langen Foundation in summer 2004 @ Christopher Charles Schirner - Architekt (Source: Wikipedia)

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