Seeking Tadao Ando (Part 2)

Kyoto - Fukunaga-cho

30th May 2011 – 1st June, 2011. Written by Xin Li.
Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan is well known for its wealth of traditional Japanese architecture and it is also home to some of the best Japanese gardens in Japan.

Garden of Fine Art - Choju Jinbutsu Giga

However, the city also offers a couple of fascinating pieces of contemporary Japanese architecture. Despite so, it is amazing to observe how the past, present and future can coexist together in Kyoto without compromising on the heritage of the city.

Garden of Fine Art - Cross

The Garden of Fine Art is a contemporary outdoor garden located near the Kyoto Botanical Gardens. The garden was kept below ground level to preserve the view of Higashiyama from the adjacent Botanical Gardens intact.

Garden of Fine Art - The Last Supper

Works of the European masters can be found here.

Garden of Fine Art - Path

The artworks are reproductions of famous masterpieces such a 1:1 The Last Judgment by Michelangelo and the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci on weatherproof ceramic plates.

Garden of Fine Art - The Last Judgement

The Last Judgment is a fresco painted by Michelangelo on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.

Garden of Fine Art - The Last Judgement

The Garden of Fine Art is located just next to the exit of the Kitayama Subway Station (北山駅) and cost 100 Yen to enter. There is also a bus stop nearby served by bus No.4 and 北8. You can take Bus No. 4 from Kyoto Station.

Garden of Fine Art - Entrance

More Photos:

Garden of Fine Art - Horizon

Garden of Fine Art - The Final Judgement

Garden of Fine Art - Mondrian

Garden of Fine Art - Museum-goers

Garden of Fine Art - Divide

Google Earth Coordinates : 35° 3'3.86"N, 135°45'54.52"E

Garden of Fine Art - Design

Garden of Fine Art - Triangle

Garden of Fine Art - Stairs


NIWAKA Building - Texture

Finally, I encountered another commercial building designed by Tadao Ando.

NIWAKA Building - Window Shopping

The NIWAKA Building, 2009 located in the city area. Found amongst some centuries old Japanese traditional wooden houses as well as Tadao Ando imitations, this more recent work of his stood out with its refined form and sensitivity to the site.

NIWAKA Building - Footprints

The patterns used for the façade of this building echo the patterns of the windows of the traditional Japanese houses opposite for a start.

NIWAKA Building - Site

“… tie the memory past of the city of Kyoto with the present and the future.”

NIWAKA Building - Light

NIWAKA Building - Interior

NIWAKA Building - Stairs

The building houses some shops including a fascinating Kyoto Design House, a design shop as well as the head office and flagship store of NIWAKA, a jewelry brand.
You can find the NIWAKA Building,2009 can be found in Nakagyo-ku (中京区) in Fukunaga-cho. There are quite a few of Meiji era buildings around Nakagyo-ku.

NIWAKA Building - Kyoto Design House

Google Earth Coordinates : 35° 0'32.56"N, 135°45'53.20"E

NIWAKA Building - Kyoto Design House

NIWAKA Building - Design House

Tadao Ando is just one architect. The city of Kyoto is not designed by one person. Architecture exists beyond Villa Savoye, Falling Water and Church of Light. Over the course of 7 days, I have also encountered other (non master/master) works that are quite interesting.

NIWAKA Building - Materiality

Therefore, as an aki student, the temptation to just see the works of the architects we learnt is strong but it is my personal belief that one should not look for ‘architecture’ .They are all around us.

NIWAKA Building - Details

Read Part 1 Here.


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