Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tadao Ando church of light

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As a “self-made Architect”; never studying at a university. Tadoa Ando’s approach to Architecture is intuitive. Using the “new” materials of today to create works that spring forth from his subconscious. Combining traditional Japanese architecture and western modernist concepts(le Corbusier, Luis kahn).

His rejection of modern day architecture’s lack of individuality and homogenous nature is visible in his works, making Ando’s designs unique and the exception to the rule. He Responds to the unvarying uniformity and ever growing chaos of the urban environment with sensitivity and simplicity. Ando through his understanding of these concepts has has generated an architecture that in his use geometric forms and special articulation shares the serenity and clarity characterized in traditional Japanese architecture while his manipulation of concrete and glass reflect more modern and western philosophies. These concepts are very evident in his work The Church of Light.

Tadao Ando’s Church of the Light is located in Ibaraki, a residential neighbourhood north-northeast of Osaka. The building can be described simply as a bare concrete box with a wall cutting through it at a 15 degree angle. The heavy cast-in-place walls establishes the human internal private space. While On the exterior, counters and deflects the surrounding urban chaos. Helping separate the religious experience inside the small 11 square meter chapel from the outside world. The delineation between sacred and profane is important on this site, which does not permit much distance between two streets and the church itself.

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The experience starts with the worshipper making his way past the existing minister’s house, to the back of the concrete church. The intersecting walls create an entry forecourt, forcing the visitor to take an S-turn to enter. Inside, the space is dominated by the glowing cross at the end of the nave. The bare concrete walls have no decorations that would mitigate the experience. The starkness creates an isolated, ascetic feeling inside the church. The interior claustrophobic, with views to the outside only available through the 0 cm gap in the concrete wall that is the cross. Rough sawn cedar planks painted black are used for both the sloping floor and benches of the church. The rough textured surface of this timber, emphasizes the honest character of the space and the stark-ness of the design. In the church dominance of the cross is paramount. And so represented by the cross being the only source of light in the structure. A powerful statement impressed upon the viewer by the effect of light filtering through the opening .

In the church of Light concrete, steel and glass with reoccurring themes of light, shadows, views, geometric forming a mystical space. Ando speaks of the spirituality of the materials he uses and explains that through the shapes and forms he molds them into. He has a special talent for creating structures that are unique blends of Japanese conservativeness with Western contemporary boldness and modernity that maintain homage to the beauty of the natural environment.

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