Tadao Ando is a bit of a hero of mine, because he is one of the few architects in the world who is largely self-taught.
Before he ventured into architecture, he worked as a boxer and as a truck driver.
From 1962 to 1969, starting in his early twenties, Ando embarked on a self-directed course of architectural study that took him across Japan to visit temples, shrines, and tea houses, and as far away as Europe, Africa and to the United States. He studied architecture by going to look at actual buildings, and also by reading books about the works of architects like Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Louis Kahn, before returning to his native Osaka at the age of 28 to open his own studio, Tadao Ando Architect & Associates.
Now i will show some pics of one of his design which is my fav -
the church of light.
The Church of the Light is a small structure on the corner of two streets at Ibaraki, a residential neighborhood. It is located 25km north-northeast of Osaka in the western foothills of the Yodo valley railway corridor. The church has an area of roughly 113 m² (1216 ft²): about the same size as a small house.
The church was planned as an add-on to the wooden chapel and minister's house that already existed at the site. The Church of the Light consists of three 5.9m concrete cubes (5.9m wide x 17.7m long x 5.9m high) penetrated by a wall angled at 15°, dividing the cube into the chapel and the entrance area. One indirectly enters the church by slipping between the two volumes, one that contains the Sunday school and the other that contains the worship hall. The benches, along with the floor boards, are made of re-purposed scaffoldings used in the construction. A cruciform is cut into the concrete behind the altar, and lit during the morning (as it is facing east).
I actually did a to-scale mock up model of the church of light during my poly days. Took quite a number of photos in the Light studio to test it out. The effect is really amazing! Tats y i still consider tadao ando as my idol till this day. =)
Hope tat i will can drop by the church when i visit Osaka in Oct. If not, hope will at least go there once before i kick the bucket.