The narrative journey through the exhibition – designed by Tadao Ando in collaboration with Centre Pompidou – showcases the career of the Japanese architect that has distinguished himself for his original use of nature and the combination of elements like water and light in designed spaces; an expression of his pure and essential vision.
“Tadao Ando: The Challenge”
9 April – 28 July, 2019
Via Bergognone, 40, Milano
Born in Osaka in 1941, Tadao Ando is the world’s best-known Japanese contemporary architect. He has received many prestigious international awards, including the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1995, and a “Laurea honoris causa” in 2002 from the School of Architecture at Rome’s La Sapienza University. Intrigued by the works of major architects, primarily Le Corbusier, Ando has developed a unique, unmistakable style, blending old Japanese tradition and contemporary architecture in a harmonious manner.
The exhibition is structured around four major themes: Primitive Shapes of Space, An Urban Challenge, Landscape Genesis, Dialogues with History.
The retrospective includes over 50 projects, illustrated with sketches, original models, video installations, technical drawings, travel notes and photographs taken by Ando himself.
The creative principles of the master of contemporary architecture are explored through his most significant works, from Row House in Sumiyoshi – Azuma House (1976), to Project in Naoshima (1988 to today) and La Bourse de Commerce in Paris (2019). Also on display for the first time is Ando’s plan for the Armani/Teatro (2001), commissioned by Giorgio Armani who was inspired by the architect’s deep sensibility, philosophy and extreme precision.
“In Tadao Ando’s architecture, I see an extraordinary ability to transform “heavy” materials such as metal and concrete into something truly exciting. I very much like his use of light, a fundamental element that helps shape the character of spaces.” – Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani has long been fond of Tadao Ando’s work as it is rooted in the same clean, understated aesthetic for which the fashion designer has come to be known. Their first collaboration, in 2001, yielded a theater that would go on to become the fulcrum and pulsating beat of company activities during Fashion Week and beyond.
The renowned Japanese creator, a key figure in contemporary architecture and recipient of the industry’s most prestigious award, was entrusted with the formidable task of envisioning and developing the Armani/Teatro, as it was aptly named.
The space, that includes a catwalk and large seating area, has hosted a bevy of fashion shows throughout the years, setting an elegant stage for various performances and special events linked to the house’s main runway collections.
Situated on Via Bergognone, 59, and a fundamental part of Milan headquarters, the structure is now also a staple pillar within architecture in Italy, exemplifying a mutual passion for order, rigor and minimalism in a perfect balance between art and style. The evocative building is an impressive display of Ando’s grid-like architecture infused with Giorgio Armani’s signature grey-hued palette and distinctive character.