After Modernism, cities began to show more and more features of universalization and uniformity along with an emphasis on functionality, convenience, and promptness, particularly in the way they interact with political forces, the economy, and cultures. These changes came about as a result of the accumulation of huge amounts of capital and rapid developments in science and technology. In many countries, this universalization has caused the unique culture, history, and identity of the society to fade and erode. The preservation, restoration and ultimately succession of the history and identity of communities remains an urgent task regardless of cultures and nations. This phenomenon is occurring in the field of Japanese architecture. In particular, for Japanese architects, the expression of tradition in their architecture is considered a mission, and the search for such expression continues in various ways today. Among these architects, Tadao Ando is known worldwide as a Japanese designer who incorporates and expresses the traditional Japanese aesthetic sense in combination with modern sensations. He asserts the importance of time and tradition to his architecture thusly: “Architecture is intimately involved with time. Standing amid time’s continual flow, architecture simultaneously experiences the receding past and the arriving future.”1 The media states that he is showing the new direction to inherit traditional Japanese architecture. His work is rated highly for its sense of purpose with respect to the modernization of tradition and with its expression of spirit and sensation within traditional structures. The purpose of his work was to pursue an emphasis on oneness with both internal and external spaces, using the aesthetics of sukiya in which Japanese emotion is immersed in the building. This aesthetic is a key origin of Ando’s design idea, which includes oneness between gardens and buildings, an emphasis on simplicity. In other words, Ando’s traditional inheritance can be said to be a succession of spirit and sensitivity, and not an imitation of stylistic symbols or preforms. This characteristic can be said to have great significance in the aspect of modernizing tradition.
The goal of this study is to grasp the characteristics of sukiya, which is shown in Ando’s work, and further to understand how Ando reinterprets it in his architecture. Accordingly, the study aims to examine the philosophical value of sukiya that Ando understands and expresses and provide examples of spatial expression by Ando. The study is divided into three major chapters, summarized as follows. Firstly, Chapter 1 will classify the various characteristics of Japanese traditional architecture into four keywords, examine their traditional values and architectural characteristics, and determine how they have a meaningful relationship with human beings and their lives. Next, in Chapter 2, how the four keywords described in the previous chapter are expressed in Ando’s architecture will be illustrated and the traditional values that Ando tried to show will be identified. Finally, Chapter 3 will explore the architectural features based on Japanese architectural traditions focusing on Ando’s three “architectural languages” for a deeper understanding into his unique way of inheriting tradition.
1 Alex, V. (2002). Time in Japanese Architecture: Tradition and Tadao Ando. Cardiff University. p. 349.