“Light is the origin of all being, light gives with each moment, new form to being and new interrelationships to things, and architecture condenses light to its most concise being. The creation of space in architecture is simply the condensation and purification of the power of light”
- Tadao Ando
Tadao Ando is a Japanese self-taught architect. Being raised in Japan the religion and style of life strongly influenced his architecture and design. Andos style is said to create a ‘haiku’ effect, emphasising nothingness and empty space to represent the beauty of simplicity. The simplicity of his architecture emphasises the concept of sensation and physical experiences.
Following the religious ‘zen’ Ando focuses on the concept of simplicity and concentrating on inner feelings rather than outward appearance.
Andos body of work is known for the creative use of natural light and for structures that follow natural forms of the landscape. He comments “such things as light and wind only have meaning when they are introduced inside a house in form out off from the outside world”.
THE CHURCH OF THE LIGHT chapel is one of the most famous designs by Tadao Ando it embraces Andos philosophical framework between nature and architecture through the way light can define and create new spatial perceptions equally.
The intersection of light and solid raises the occupations awareness of the spiritual and secular within themselves. The concrete structure removes any distinction of traditional Christian motifs and aesthetics.
Originally I had planned on photographing in the traditional churches. However after my research more on light and taking connotations from religious light I feel it could be nicer to look at more personal religious places. You can feel spiritual in any place, and can be more personal, which I want to portray in my images. I want to take forward this simplicity and focus more on light architecture and the feelings of spirituality outside the typical church.
In Andos work as a testament to minimalist architecture, the crosses void in the east facing wall, is the only prominent religious symbol present in the church.
Andos approach to light and concrete in the church of light, as well as his other projects, has a surreal effect that perceptually changes material into immaterial, dark into light, light into space.
Ando said about his work “ In all my works light is an important controlling factor, I create enclosed spaces mainly by means of thick concrete walls […] the primary reason is to create a place for the individual, a zone for themselves”.
Elements from Andos work that stand out to me is the simplicity of the design and how when light is entered it creates an atmosphere and personal feeling to each individual. It can make a person have a personal experience of spirituality outside the typical church aesthetics. This is what I want to recreate in my photographs by having the interior architecture plain and focus on the creation of light to create an experience it creates an overall simple image but can also be quite personal as to how the light personally relates.
Below are photographs of Andos architectural designs emphasising simplicity and light.