Meet Tadao Ando, The 81-Year-Old Japanese Architect Making Waves

Tadao Ando is a self-taught, Osaka-based architect who has designed fewer than 20 homes in the US. For Ando to work on a project, money is secondary. “My decision to accept their projects depends mainly on their personality and aura,” said Ando.

Ando homes are generally defined by their use of reinforced architectural concrete, which makes construction far more expensive than in typical homes. Sometimes described as Brutalist, they are typically hulking, sparse structures with smooth edges, water features and windows that frame the views.

Admirers say they evoke an almost spiritual, Zen-like experience in their simplicity, while others say the concrete is too hard and cold to be livable.

Many of Ando’s clients are art collectors, noting that concrete is neutral enough to complement modern art. But some of his other famous clients include the founder of Slack, Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield and his wife, Away co-founder Jen Rubio, Ye West and his former wife Kim K, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

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