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Tadao Ando says architecture should remain vivid in people’s hearts

Architecture should remain vivid in people’s hearts like Beethoven or Mozart’s timeless music, said Tadao Ando at Herald Design Forum 2022 Tuesday, delivering the opening lecture under the theme “Life full of dreams and architecture.”


“People say architecture should be rational, economical, pleasant and beautiful and all, but most importantly, I believe, architecture should remain firmly in people’s minds,” Ando said via video link at the forum's 12th edition.


The internationally acclaimed architect shared his insights and philosophy on architecture, answering the question of how he and the current generation can leave behind a society where children can live with dreams.



The “Green Apple” art installation at Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, in Japan (Photo by Shigeo Ogawa)


Beginning his lecture with reference to the “Green Apple” installation at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art in Kobe, Japan, both of which he designed, Ando said Samuel Ullman’s poem “Youth” inspired the installation.


“Youth does not mean age like teenagers or 20s. There is youth as long as you have the will, imagination and emotions,” Ando said, referring to the poem. “I believe life must be enjoyed and lived abundantly.”


The self-taught Japanese architect went over some of his iconic architectural projects around the world, emphasizing the “dialogue between people and nature.”



A view of Museum San in Wonju, Gangwon Province (Museum San)


Museum San in Wonju, Gangwon Province, in 2013, for example, is a place where visitors can spend a whole day relaxing, viewing art and spending quality time with people while being surrounded by nature, said Ando.


“I built the building on top of a hill and put the parking lot below … like putting a new road along the nature,” he said, adding that he plans to hold an exhibition of his works at the museum next year.


He continued to highlight the harmony of nature and buildings, such as his series of art projects on Japan's Naoshima Island, the historic Bourse de Commerce building in Paris, Nakanoshima Children's Book Forest in Osaka and the LG Arts Center in Seoul, which is scheduled to open Oct. 13.



A view of Nakanoshima Children’s Book Forest, in Osaka, Japan (Photo by Shigeo Ogawa)


“Today, smartphones make people keep their distance. So I wanted to create a building where children can freely explore a space -- where children can read, talk, talk with books, talk with adults and have a relationship,” Ando said, referring to the Nakanoshima Children's Book Forest which opened in 2020.


Ando is the founder of Tadao Ando Architects & Associates in Osaka, and the winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 1995.


By Hwang Dong-hee (