Tadao Ando used to be a boxer, nowadays he is one of the most famous architects in the world. You might have seen some of his buildings in print or online, such as the Church of the Light. or the Water Temple or the Langen Foundation or Omotesando Hills in Tokyo or … Anyway!
Basically, Ando is the pope of concrete. His concrete is silky smooth and will cause architecture fans to swoon. He is known to demand that whole walls be torn down again only because a few air bubbles were caught in the concrete during construction and caused small imperfections.
For anyone with a slight interest in contemporary architecture it is therefore necessary to visit his every fart. And since Ando built a lovely arrangement of small shops, cafes and restaurants along the Takase, the small channel I had visited previously, I had to take a look at it. The buildings are called Times I and II, and it’s really quite amazing how close their connection to the river is. There is remarkably little of his characteristic polished concrete around but it’s still stark and ascetic as ever. Maybe even a bit too stark for my tastes. But who am I to argue with the master.