Artist Tadao Ando's Clifftop Home in Sri Lanka
Tadao Ando's scheme for an artist's clifftop home in Sri Lanka united his legendary simplicity with a divine play of light. Concrete architecture has survived more name calling than perhaps any other modern building material: It’s brutal, it’s bleak. It’s controversial. Until Tadao Ando buffed the final slab in his Church of the Light in 1989, few would have called it inspiring. Ando, in becoming if not a household name then the godfather of compassionate concrete with his church in Japan, near Osaka, helped change the world’s relationship to austerity in architecture. Galleries, for instance, from London’s Tate Modern to the New Museum in New York, would be quite different places. And the artist Saskia Pintelon likely would never have named Ando as her architectural hero when her husband, Belgian entrepreneur Pierre Pringiers, put the question to her a decade ago.