Architecture is usually seen as the act of enforcing mankind’s will upon the landscape and reshaping it for our purposes, but what truly inspires us about Ando is how his respect for nature was integral to his work ethic and rather than hindering him it pushed his work to new heights of greatness.
His work is often characterised by three signature elements; creative use of natural light, designs which compliment the contours of the surrounding landscape and extensive use of a building material traditionally viewed as crude – exposed, cast in place concrete.
When conceptualising his structures Ando took inspiration from Zen philosophies as an underlying constant, with the interplay of nature and artificial structures often resulting in complex interweaving three-dimensional designs that come together to form large geometric shapes which transverse both interior and exterior spaces – intended to represent the dual nature of existence.
Ando’s mindset of respecting the world around us and living in harmony with nature has inspired a generation of architects who are taking design to its natural extension of environmentally friendly designs. Even former England football star Gary Neville is onboard with this philosophy, having recently commissioned a custom carbon neutral mansion built into a hillside to avoid detracting from the surrounding rural landscape.