Sited on an elevated cape at the southern end of this largely unspoiled Island in the Inland Sea of Japan, the Naoshima Island Art Complex represents Aando at his most stunning. At turns rational and unpredictable, his projects, such as the Chichu Art Museum featured here, embody spaces that encourage contemplation and demonstrate a love for essential forms. His use of ordinary and standard building materials - wood, glass, concrete, steel - is highly idiosyncratic, frequently surprising, and reveals an affinity for the natural world as coupled with a reverence for that which is personal and very human. Among the handful of great, living, world-class architects, Tadao Aando is particularly noted for work that elegantly combines the sensual and ethereal, the pragmatic and poetic.
Philip Jodidio has written more than fifteen books on contemporary architecture, including monographs on Tadao Ando, Norman Foster, Richard Meier, and Alvaro Siza. He was the Editor in Chief of Connaissance des Arts, the most widely distributed French art monthly, from 1980 to 2002.