Concrete Architect Tadao Ando's Other Material

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Ferrous Metals

In addition to coverage of the major metals markets, MetalMiner also covers  key product developments and other uses of metals. In our continuing series on metal use in architecture and design, we welcome guest blogger, Nate Burgos. Nate writes the blog Design Feaster.


Last June, the Stone Hill Center made its debut. It is a companion-structure of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the respected small museum and art research center in Williamstown, Mass., that grew from the collection of Sterling and Francine Clark. Designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who is known for his crafting of concrete and imbuing it with soft and spatial qualities, his latest work makes use of a different material. Concrete is not the lead material in this fifth building designed by the “concrete architect.” From ArchitectureWeek magazine:

“At Stone Hill, Ando has performed a sleight of hand. Stone Hill Center is actually more of a steel-and-wood building than a concrete one. Nearly all of the enclosing walls, except for those forming the 7-wall, are of steel and wood, but he has rendered these materials in a way that they take on tonal qualities of concrete. More oddly, the concrete is rendered to look like wood.

Even the steel structure is concealed, although it appears to be revealed. What you see is actually a carefully detailed, gray-painted sheet-metal shroud that covers the steel, meant to express the structure behind it.”

In this case, metal plays a key supporting role, simply paired and arranged by an architect sensitive to his work materials. In Ando’s hands, metal is a part of the landscape of art.

–Nate Burgos

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