Seeking Tadao Ando (Part 1)

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Prayer
29th May – 2nd June 2011. Written by Xin Li.
Ibaraki & Kyoto, Japan.
Out the rain continued with gathering strength but the organ music and hymns continued to resonate in the hall. The great hall was illuminated by strays of light entering through a cross-shaped window as though the divine is present with us today.

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Light
Slowly, seemingly endless rain seemed to fade away into the background like a backdrop of trickling drops of water as Reverend Karukome recites passages from the Bible. The view outside was simply serene.

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Cross
This surreal and meditative sanctuary is none other than the renowned Church of Light. Its iconic cross-shaped window can be found in many major architecture or design magazines across the globe. However, none of the photos and videos could justify the spiritually stimulating experience of visiting this house of worship on a Sunday morning.

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Scale

"...Where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them." - Matthew 18:20

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Window

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Intersect
The Church of Light (1989) or more accurately, Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church(茨木春日丘教会) was designed by internationally acclaimed architect, Tadao Ando (安藤 忠雄). Known more than for his concrete with holes texture (imitated by many around the world), he makes use of light in a creative manner and utilized forms and composition in his works sensitively.

Failed Attempt to Draw him within 30 minutes.

Since I am to make my way to Kyoto from Osaka, why not drop by Ibaraki to visit this work of his?

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Cross

I was glad that I made the attempt to visit this building. It was indeed amazing. This happens to be my first time attending a Sunday service too and I thought it actually gives me the opportunity to see how the building works.

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church

Below: The garden outside.

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Garden

The church has a serene atmosphere desite the Sunday crowd.

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Bible

From the front.

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Hall

On the other hand, I wonder if Tadao Ando is too famous for the church, a portion of the visitors were here for the building rather than for the religion.

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Detail

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Mirror

I got to meet a Taiwanese medical student as well as a British architecture student who are interested in the works of Tadao Ando.

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Facade

The façade.

Ibaraki-Kasugaoka Church - Greens

You could find the Church of Light in Ibaraki, a city located between both Kyoto and Osaka. To reach the church, you must take a bus from JR Ibaraki Station (JR茨城駅), not Ibaraki-Shi Station (茨木市駅). From JR-Ibaraki Station, board the KINTETSU (近鉄) bus to Kasugaokakouen (春日丘公園) and alight there. It is a loop bus. You will need to contact the Church of Light first if you planning to visit outside the normal visiting hours (aka. Sunday Service)

Coordinates: 34°49'6.54"N, 135°32'13.45"E

TIMES - Directory


Welcome to TIMES, another work by Tadao Ando in the ancient city of Kyoto.


While you could easily find more of Tadao Ando’s works in Tokyo and Osaka, one probably wouldn’t expect to find his works in the Kyoto. However, over the course of 5 nights in Kyoto, I stumbled upon TIMES I & II, a commercial building located along in Pontocho. Designed in 1984, his trademarks can be easily recognized.

TIMES - Street

The TIMES Building can be accessed by walking along the narrow street of Kiya-machi Dori(木屋町) from Kawaramachi Station(河原町駅)/ Shijo-Kawaramachi (四条河原町) Bus-stop from the South or from Kyotoshiyakushomae Station (京都市役所前駅)/ Oike-Kawaramachi (御池河原町)Bus-stop from the North.

TIMES - Walkway

TIMES - View

TIMES - Overhead

TIMES - Shop

TIMES - Design Tshirts

TIMES - Closed Shop

Here are the coordinates: 35° 0'31.53"N, 135°46'12.93"E

TIMES - Perspective



the moose & snowman

the soft toy. the soft toy.

makan corner

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