Tadao Ando is magic, there is something ethereal, meditative, and grounding about this conference center he created on the corner of the campus. There is a narrow meditative path leading to it — narrow so that two people don’t walk side by side.IMG_1295

IMG_1318 IMG_1319The lobby:IMG_1296IMG_1315IMG_1317

Isamu Noguchi lamp

Stairway from the lobby to the lounge area and courtyard:IMG_1312IMG_1311A thick line in the concrete throughout the project delineates the gorund level. The courtyard is subeterranean, but southfacing — so it both acoustically insulates and daylights the space.IMG_1310IMG_1306The courtyard

Details of the lighting, electrical outlets, and light switches were thought through in advance, and incorporated into the concrete:IMG_1309 IMG_1297 The concrete surfaces are punctuated by numerous anchor points, because Ando wanted the concrete to appear as it did in construction in Japan. In Japan wood is much less available and much more expensive than in Europe. Therefore, less wood and more anchors are used in the pour, resulting in a pattern like the one seen in this project.

Only 1/3 as many anchors were actually needed to construct this project, but the design called for more to achieve this aesthetic. I really like it, it adds a rhythm and dynamism to otherwise austere concrete walls.IMG_1304 IMG_1301 This library space was inspired by Le Corbusier’s Chapel at RonchampIMG_1299 IMG_1305