by Jerry ElengicalFeb 15, 2023
Japanese architect and 1995 laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Tadao Ando, has been announced as the recipient of the Andrée Putman Lifetime Achievement Award. Named after the late visionary French designer, the coveted honour is part of the Créateurs Design Awards (CDA) – a peer-to-peer awards program that celebrates ingenious works in the fields of interior design, product design, architecture, photography, journalism, and curation. A panel of over 300 members from 55 countries recognises the winners for having produced an oeuvre of works that reflect excellence in design and a practice inspiring future generations. Boxer-turned- architect, Tadao Ando will be felicitated with the recognition during the CDA awards ceremony in Paris on January 21, 2023.
Born in 1941 in Osaka, Japan, the 81-year-old self-taught architect is often cited as the 'Master of Light' owing to his exquisite craft where concrete architecture lets nature paints untamed reflections within and around its sculptural folds. Heavily inspired from Japanese simplicity and Zen concepts, Ando's buildings focus on quietude and inwardness rather than an outward nature of architecture. An often recurring feature that ties most of his works is the celebration of negative spaces and the idea of circulation, as Ando believes silence and nothingness are powerful qualities which when communicated through spaces allow reflective pondering, and let you experience 'more' with less. Architecture came his way very serendipitously, when on a second-year high school trip to Tokyo he encountered Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel and instantly fell in love with it. Less than two years after graduating from high school, young Ando threw himself in the architectural profession without a formal education in the discipline. His formative training was only in the form of drawing classes that he would take at night, in addition to a few correspondence courses in interior design.
Today, Ando is counted as one of the most powerful visionaries in the architecture domain, as someone who has served over a half a decade to creating buildings that elevate the human soul. His projects, dotted all over the globe including a large number in Japan, range from resorts, ateliers, places of worship, museums and galleries, theatres, and convention centres. His most noted works include the Church of Light in Ibaraki, Osaka, designed in the shape of a cross, the ethereally sculpted Water Temple in Awajishima, Hyogo, and the immersive Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, to name a few. His recent works from the last few years include the private gallery of exhibitions, the Wrightwood 659 in Chicago, and the Bourse de Commerce in Paris housing French billionaire art collector François Pinault’s massive collection of artefacts. Ando, in addition to his winning the architecture’s highest honour in 1995, has received several international recognitions including the Alvar Alto Medal, Japan Art Academy Prize, the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, AIA Gold Medal by the American Institute of Architects, the Kyoto Prize, and the Order of Culture from the Japanese Ministry.
Speaking of the honour on being acknowledged for his architectural contributions and the journey so far, Ando says, “France has a cultural legacy of pursuing ideas beyond the boundary of an era. Revolutionary projects such as the Eiffel Tower and the Centre Pompidou came to fruition in Paris, redefining the city’s historical context. Co-residence of the genius loci, the essence of a place, and the contemporary is a theme I have always considered in my approach to architecture. In the process of designing the Bourse de Commerce with my client, the president, the mayor, and the people of Paris, I was able to sense its manifestation in the coexistence of the tradition and the modern. Culture will remain the heart of France as long as one lives in pursuit of freedom: that is the message I wish to reach the new generations. It is a great honour to receive this architecture award from Créateurs Design Association.”
The awards ceremony to be hosted early next year will also felicitate the winners in the 12 different categories of Créateurs Design Awards bracketed under Architecture, Interior Design, Design, and Art & Culture.