Langen Foundation by Tadao Ando
There are some fascinating connections between different projects that have made it up on the site, I often look back at older articles in each category and notice little details that link them all together. Strangely enough my taste has stayed quite consistent over the years and, although I know it will mature and develop, I can’t see it changing too much in the future. One designer that I’ve mentioned many times over the last few years, alongside Le Corbusier and a few others, is Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The thing is, I’m usually someone who admires ‘under the radar’ creatives, maybe those who have yet to be showcased. But at the same time I like the mixture and middle ground of involving individuals who’re better known alongside those that are lesser known. Plus, you can’t deny Tadao Ando’s genius. The fact that he didn’t take any formal education in architecture amazes me, a very talented man indeed.
I decided to highlight some photographs that I found of the Langen build thanks to the Langen Foundation website, I thought they present some fantastic details and inspired me with the rich amount of light found throughout the whole build. As you may imagine, there’s also a large span of glass, concrete and steel, which is trademark Ando style. The exhibition building initiated by the collector Marianne Langen is situated on a former NATO base amidst a swath of Lower Rhine landscape in Germany. Tadao Ando visited the Rocket Station in 1994 and experienced its original state, enthusiastic about Müller’s plans Ando ended up developing an architectural model that was to become integrated into the project. The venue itself was opened in 2004 and offers three exhibition spaces totalling an area of 1,300 square metres.
One of the most interesting rooms on a personal level is the so-called Japan Room, an unusually long and narrow gallery conceptualised by Tadao Ando as a space of “tranquillity”. One thing I didn’t know about Tadao Ando’s building style is that the smooth concrete panels are orientated to the size of the tatami mats used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms. It’s obvious to see his architecture combines elements of Japanese tradition with those of modernism. In every build all structural elements are visible which means each joint must be exact and perfect, any errors would be obvious to see. These are photographs of the exterior which should inspire, I’m personally going to spend the next few weeks sketching some of Tadao’s builds to see what comes of it.