Tadao Ando: The Idea of a Center

From Michael Auping’s Seven Interviews with Tadao Ando:

The idea of a center is an interesting one, and one that is more of a Western concept. Roland Barthes made a comment on visiting Japan that it is a country that doesn’t seem to have a center; great depth, but no center. I think I carry that aspect of Japan with me. For me, the center of a building is always the person who is in it, experiencing the space from within it themselves. The challenge is in allowing each person to be the center, to be generous enough with the space to allow them to feel they are the center.

Steven Holl on Museum Architecture

From a profile of the architect in ArtNews’ 09/12 issue:

There’s the neutral white box. We see that, if you take that too far, it sucks the light out of art. Then there’s the super-expressionist building by the signature architect. But if you take that too far, it totally squashes the art, so you can’t have a great feeling for any art experience in a building like that. 

And we believe there is a third way, where the sense of space in which you’re going to experience the art is silent and poetic, but when you move from one gallery to another you’re engaged by the sequence. The building draws you through and doesn’t frustrate the movement. You sense that someone wrote a musical score — that this is the way you flow through spaces.