10th Anniversary of the National Art Center, Tokyo



Tadao Ando (1941-), who is known for his unconventional résumé as a former professional boxer turned self-taught architect, made a start to his architectural career in 1969 as an “urban guerrilla”. He has since been constantly delivering novel designs that challenge our preconceptions about architecture. He began expanding the sphere of his activities overseas from the 1990s, and he has realized ambitious projects in nations throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas. He has also been actively engaged in social contribution projects focused on environmental restoration and post-disaster reconstruction.

Learn about the life of the extraordinary architect, his creations, and his current ambitions in this exhibition, which sheds light on the great trail of endeavors he has left behind him and on his visions for the future ahead through six sections titled “ORIGINS/HOUSES”, “LIGHT”, “VOID SPACES”, “READING THE SITE”, “BUILDING UPON WHAT EXISTS, CREATING THAT WHICH DOES NOT EXIST”, and “NURTURING”. The exhibition spaces featuring more than 200 models, sketches, and drawings have been designed by the architect himself. By traversing these spaces, visitors will be able to retrace the architect’s footprints and gain a renewed appreciation for the richness and infinite potential of the culture of architecture.

Date September 27 (Wed.)-December 18 (Mon.), 2017
Closed on Tuesdays
Opening hours 10:00-18:00
* 10:00-20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays
* 10:00-22:00 on September 30 (Sat.) and October 1 (Sun.)
(Last admission 30 minutes before closing)
Venue The National Art Center, Tokyo (Kokuritsu-Shin-Bijutsukan), Special Exhibition Gallery 1E+Open-Air Exhibition Area
7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8558
Organized by The National Art Center, Tokyo; TBS; The Asahi Shimbun
Co-organized by Tadao Ando Exhibition Committee
With the support of Tokyo Society of Architects & Building Engineers; TBS RADIO, Inc.
With the sponsorship of Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.; Mori Building Co., Ltd.; THE SANKEI BUILDING CO., LTD; Sekisui House, Ltd.;
Sekiwa Real Estate Kansai, Ltd.; Suntory Holdings Limited; Akio Nagasawa Gallery; amana inc.; Aurora Museum;
Benesse Holdings, Inc.; BIGI CO., LTD.; C.C. Kuo; CA-GROUP; Château la Coste; Fukutake Foundation;
Garyozan Anyoin Temple; Genesis Beijing; International Pacific University; ISSEY MIYAKE INC.; Ito-Koji Co., Ltd.;
Kanou Shoujuan Co., Ltd.; Maguchi Co., Ltd.; maiim Co., Ltd.; One Tenth; Osaka Shoko Shinkin Bank; Richard Sachs;
Rock Field Co., Ltd.; Shanghai Ganso Dream World; Super Hotel Co., Ltd.; Taiwan Nan Shan Life Insurance;
Wrightwood Gallery; Xinhua Redstar Landmark; Yoshii Gallery New York; DAIKO ELECTRIC CO., LTD; HASEKO Corporation;
IWATA CHIZAKI INC.; Kajima Corporation; KINDEN CORPORATION; Makoto Construction Co., Ltd.; Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd.;
NOMURA Co., Ltd.; Obayashi Corporation; SATOHIDE CORPORATION; SHIMIZU CORPORATION; Takenaka Corporation;
Tadao Ando Architect & Associates; Atelier Tadao Ando
With the cooperation of AICA KOGYO Co.,LTD.; CASSINA IXC. Ltd.; Gantan Beauty Industry Co., Ltd.; inter office ltd.;
LIXIL Corporation; MAEDA CORPORATION; TOTO LTD.; Union Corporation; YKK AP Inc.; YKK Corporation; MGS LIGHTING
(tax included)
General 1,500 yen (Adults) , 1,200 yen (College students), 800 yen (High school students)
Advance/ Group 1,300 yen (Adults) , 1,000 yen (College students), 600 yen (High school students)
  • Visitors who are under junior high school students and disabled people with ID booklets (along with the one assistant) will be admitted for free.
  • Free entrance to the exhibition for high school students from November 3 (Fri.) to November 5 (Sun.), 2017, upon presenting students ID.
  • Advance tickets on sale from June 26 (Mon.) until September 26 (Tue.), 2017 (only until September 25 (Mon.) at the National Art Center, Tokyo).
  • Tickets both Advance and General are available through The National Art Center, Tokyo (open days only: pair tickets not available), exhibition website (ONLINE TICKETS), and other major ticket agencies. Service charges may apply. (These service are only available in Japanese.)
  • Group tickets (for groups of a minimum of 20 people) can only be purchased at the National Art Center, Tokyo.
  • Reduction (100 yen off) applies to visitors who present the ticket stub of a concurrent exhibition at The National Art Center, Tokyo, Suntory Museum of Art or Mori Art Museum (Art Triangle Roppongi).
  • Reduction (100yen off) applies for visitors who present the ticket stub or entrance receipt of 21_ 21 DESIGN SIGHT Exhibition "Wild: Untamed Mind"(Dates: October 20, 2017- February 4, 2018).
  • For Students, faculty and staff, of “Campus Members”, group discounts apply to purchasing tickets.
  • Credit card (UC, Master Card, VISA, JCB, AMEX, Diners Club, DISCOVER), e-cash (Suica, PASMO, ICOCA, etc.), iD, J-Debit and Union Pay are available for purchasing tickets.

Pair tickets may be purchased at the exhibition website (online tickets), e-plus, Seven-Eleven (7 Ticket) [Seven-code: 054-307], Ticket Pia (P-code: 768-308), Lawson (Lawson Ticket; L-code: 32150)

  • Details about other special offer tickets will be announced on the exhibition website.
Inquiries Tel: +81 (0)3-5777-8600



How did this exceptional architect develop his exquisite sensibility and great ability to take action? What is the source of his energy? This section lays out the history of Tadao Ando’s activities through a presentation showcasing travel sketches he made before he became an architect and the designs of his atelier, which he reworked through a series of renovations. A part of his personal workspace has been recreated at full scale as it appears today to provide a glimpse into the everyday life of the architect.


For Tadao Ando, the origins of architecture lie in the house, which is a receptacle for the fundamental human act of dwelling. It was through designing houses that Ando perfected the basic form of his signature architecture characterized by exposed cast-in-place concrete, simple geometric forms, and symbiosis with nature. This section features a selection from the more than 100 residential projects Ando has designed, including his most recognizable works from the early years of his career and large-scale works he has recently designed for sites overseas.


The spaces Tadao Ando aims to realize only truly come into being when nature breathes light and wind onto the blank canvases he creates with simple forms shaved down to the bare minimum. This is most palpable in his works of church architecture. This section is dedicated to introducing his most representative sanctuary spaces and features a full-scale replica of the Church of the Light that has been built as a special installation in the open-air exhibition area.


There is one goal that self-proclaimed “urban guerrilla” Tadao Ando has always attempted to achieve with his projects in cities, and that is to deliberately create “yohaku”, or “void spaces”, where people can come together. This section illustrates the process of Ando’s attempts to achieve this goal through presenting a comprehensive genealogical record of his works of urban architecture, which range from his early small-scale commercial buildings to complexes built after the year 2000, such as Omotesando Hills, the Tokyu-Toyoko Line Shibuya Station, and the Shanghai Poly Grand Theater.


Tadao Ando began making buildings embedded in rich natural settings in the late 1980s. Since then, he has shaped beautiful, bold landscapes with his work in places around the world. These works share a common theme in that they are integrated into their surroundings and augment the unique character of their sites. This section presents a genealogical record of Ando’s architectural work in natural environments and features an immersive installation of the Naoshima Project, which he has developed over the span of three decades.


Tadao Ando has always considered the theme of revitalizing historic buildings as an exciting challenge. This section illustrates a genealogical record of his work in architectural preservation and revitalization through a presentation that includes his early unrealized projects, works he has realized within Japan, his series of projects in the historic city of Venice centered on the Punta della Dogana, and also his latest project currently in progress in the heart of Paris.


One reason why Tadao Ando is called a unique architect is because he is actively involved in social initiatives that go beyond the realm of architecture. This section illustrates Ando’s belief that “building-making = environment-making” through documentary videos that capture his environmental improvement projects for areas around his completed buildings, community development work in his hometown of Osaka, and environmental restoration programs in coastal areas of the Seto Inland Sea and Tokyo Bay.