Interview with Tadao Ando


Japanese news paper Mainichi Shimbun interviewed Tadao Ando about his latest work. The following is the summery of the interview. (translated from Japanese)

– The structure is impressive….

Tadao Ando:

The wind from the ground floor can be combined with the wind generated by train. So it is not necessary to have a ventilation system. There is no other train stations in the world where you get natural air at 30 meters below the ground. With this structure, you can see the train even from the upper stairs. You could get lost in a normal subway station, but this structure makes it possible for you to know where you are.

Oval shaped “Chichusen” (meaning “space ship in the earch”) in the center of the station is very unique…

Shibuya is the center of Tokyo nowadays. I wanted something new to happen in Shibuya.

– “Curved lines” used for a subway station are refreshing…

I am sure that the construction company thought it was difficult. But they made an effort and did it. This is a modern station but at the same time it is Japanese. Old Japanese houses are meticulously built. You can see that here. Also, the techniques of the construction workers are impressive. We need to respect them more since they are the ones who built Japan after the destruction of the world war.

– It looks very different from the generic structures of a train station…

I think that a train station should look like something that we remember. Nowadays all the train stations look the same, and the only thing which we remember is that it takes a long time to switch to another line (laugh). Probably, this is the result of “low cost” and “speedy”. But I think that architecture should seek for somthing more interesting. If we think “this station is interesting”, then we have a conversation with the station. If you think that it is “your station”, then you will keep it clean as well.

-Also, the station has plants on the walls…

I wanted to make the impression that “there is full of green in Tokyo”. I am now in charge of the prject that turns the garbage mountain in the Tokyo bay into green forest. Tokyo can be unique if it is full of green forests.

– So this is not just a project for a train station….

Exactly. Station and afforestation. Each project has to come together. Then, those who are not interested in the environment now will eventually be interested in afforestation.

Japanese sensitivity was born out of living with nature. But we did something opposite after the world war and built a major economic power. It is nice to get back to the origin now.

See previous articles:“Tadao Ando Designs Shibuya Station” and
“Tadao ANdo Designs Shibuya Station (2)

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