Tadao Ando is that rare architect who combines artistic and intellectual sensitivity in a single individual capable of producing buildings, large and small, that both serve and inspire. His powerful inner vision, ignores whatever movements, schools or styles that might be current, creating buildings with form and composition related to the kind of life that will be lived there.
At an age when most architects are beginning to do their first serious works, Ando has accomplished an extraordinary body of work, primarily in his native Japan, that already sets him apart. Working with smooth-as-silk concrete, Ando creates spaces using walls that he defines as the most basic element of architecture, but also the most enriching. In spite of his consistent use of materials and the elements of pillar, wall, and vault, his different combinations of these elements always prove exciting and dynamic. His design concepts and materials have linked international Modernism to the Japanese tradition of aesthetics. His dedication and understanding of the importance of craftsmanship have earned him the appellation of builder as well as architect.
He is accomplishing his self-imposed mission to restore the unity between house and nature. Using the most basic geometric forms, he creates microcosms for the individual with ever changing patterns of light. But far more than achieving some abstract design concept, his architecture is a reflection of a fundamental process of building something for habitation.
Ando's architecture is an assemblage of artistically composed surprises in space and form. There is never a predictable moment as one moves through his buildings. He refuses to be bound by convention. Originality is his medium and his personal view of the world is his source of inspiration.
The Pritzker Architecture Prize honors Tadao Ando not only for works completed, but also for future projects that when realized, will most certainly further enrich the art of architecture.