on November 8, 1999
This book is a must for everyone who is interested in Ando or Japanese architecture in general. It gives a clear chronological view of the evolution of Ando into the great architect that he is today.
Although not totally complete, the works of main interest are included and shortly described. Nice are the early-sketches, illustrating the relation between concept and final design. In the back of the book one can find short but meaningfull writings by Ando or about Ando,that try to capture the essence of his work.
I'm still waiting for a similarly arranged book, but then with personal comments from the master. It remains a beautifull publication that deserves a place on anyone's bookshelf.
on May 3, 2000
Very comprehensive with a lot of good photographs, although too many of them are monochromatic. To someone who's familiar with Tadao Ando's work it emphasizes important aspects of the architect's work such as the penetration of light and the feeling of his transcendental spaces, but to a "novice" it may be a little bit hard to swallow. The presentation is excellent with some additional information about the sites, time of construction etc. The last part includes instructive articles written by critics and by Ando himself. Tadao Ando's own writings are a must to anyone who loves architecture. A good book on a stupendous architect!
on January 2, 2000
It is by no mean an easy feat to have a career change from a boxer to a prominent architect of an international stature. Tadao Ando has done just that. In addition of giving us the chronological order of all Tadao's work to date (& thus, his evolution in his work), the book also published essays written by the architect himself. This enables the readers to comprehend the rationality behind his works. It really doesn't matter if the buildings created by Tadao are liveable but this is minimalist at its best & at its purest form. By the way, the presentation of the book is simply superb. It looks like a concrete slab, which would snug rather comfortably in any of Tadao's buildings!
on September 8, 2002
Francesco dal Co. give us the best aproach to Tadao Ando work. An architect that focus on the most subtil things that makes a certain space (prototyped space, like he says) sacralized. The perfect control of the light and shadow, the minimalist use of the materials in harmony with the also minimalist use of the forms themself wich, in the most poetic way, express the Japanese filosophy (ZEN thoughts) of continous space - a space both of the contruted and non-construted (natural) life.
Much more aspects of Tadao Ando architecture and life (can we distinguish between the work and life of an artist?) are treated in the best way in this book, wich includes a compilation of his own writings and an antology of the critic on his work. The quality of the paper and photographs are also very good, although architecture can't be experienced trough a simple 2 dimension layout (there is nor the 3rd dimension nor the 4th - time).
Now, it's all about architectural taste...
on July 30, 2011
This book benefits from an excellent introduction by Francesco Dal Co. While examining the formal aspects of Ando's architecture it also goes deeper to reveal the poetic and philosophic achievements of Ando's best work--something of value for experiencing any architecture, not just Ando's. And it's unsparing in its criticism of works which Dal Co feels are below Ando's true potential, something I wouldn't have expected in an intro to a collection. I expect such intros to be unwavering tributes to the preceived greatness of the featured artist/architect. The photography is good, though the number of photos for some of the projects seems a bit skimpy--I guess that's a hazard of any "complete works" collection. Another drawback is that this book covers only the period up to 1997 so there is a significant chunk of Ando's work which isn't included. But, like other Phaedon publications I've purchased, it's well-presented and well-built (pages in signatures).
All in all, a good choice for anyone interested in Ando.