Tadao Ando
The most mystic architect in Japan
E.D., January 30, 2010
adao Ando/Collezione - Tadao Ando
adao Ando/Collezione - Tadao Ando
Conversation with Tadao Ando…

E.D.: At the moment the world is facing up a very difficult historical period; do you think that architecture must, or could, express this situation, or is it in some way influenced by this condition?

Tadao Ando: Well, I think that now architecture doesn't really have a big role, a big enough role to influence the world or the situation that we have now.
 In October 1994 I completed a building for Unesco, the Meditating Center; when I designed that building, I dreamed that people from different cultures, different ethnics - Italian, French, Japanese, and many many others - could think together, could meditate together and try to bring peace to the world they believed in. 
But looking at the situation now, I think that the American culture is the leading culture in the world now, in terms of economical power, and it has a great impact over the entire world. 
But to be a leader, it has to understand the difference between the different cultures and it has to have the passion to embrace all the cultures together. Otherwise it would not be a very easy situation to compromise.

adao Ando/Collezione - Tadao Ando
adao Ando/Collezione - Tadao Ando
E.D.: Your projects express a ritual or spiritual component: where does this kind of sacrality come from? From the place itself, from the cultural background of the place or from the architecture itself?

Tadao Ando: Well, first I think that architecture must possess from the beginning this spiritual root or background, which is universal for any kind of culture.
But because architecture has to be located in a given position, there are some specific qualities that arise from the place, arise from the cultural context of the place.
 So there is a very good equilibrium between the two, between the universal quality of spirituality within the architecture itself combined with the local specificities of the place, of the culture.
 And I think that good architecture should combine these elements.

adao Ando/Collezione - Tadao Ando
adao Ando/Collezione - Tadao Ando
E.D.: What do you think about an architecture which tries to become immaterial, or to deny geometry and the comprehension of space, or to celebrate the structure as the only origin of esthetic meaning?

Tadao Ando:
Well I think that from the 20th century to the 21st century, we really have to understand that it would be an age of variety, with so many things, that really increase the richness within the architectural culture of the world.
 Of course we have one thing: we have this direction or the other, so you can't really say one thing is good or one thing is bad, or one thing is right or one thing is wrong. 
It's just that there are so many directions in the world now. So what is very important in this richness is, I think, that you have to understand your own direction and the purpose of how you make architecture and you are going, which is the way I make my architecture.

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