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Monday, June 28, 2010

Ando Online?

Tadao Ando has been one of the few architects -- superstars, mainly -- in my running tally of those without a web page*. But in my search for information on an Ando project I came across a real estate listing for an apartment in one of his buildings, a listing that features a link to what looks to be the architect's official web page. The Japanese/English site includes the footer "COPYRIGHT TadaoAndo Architect & Associates 2009, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED," so I'm somewhat confident the page is Ando's own, not a fan page, even though the design and content leave a lot to be desired.

One aspect of the Japanese page that I do like is the map feature, missing in the English portion.


It is simply a graphically pixelated map of a portion of Japan with red squares for projects standing out from the green ones. A click on a red box opens a pop-up window with a small photo, text in Japanese and driving directions, also in Japanese. These pop-ups remind me of the special issue of Casa Brutus from 2002, the Grand Tour with Tadao Ando.


Certainly the map and rest of the site leave one yearning for more, but it makes me wonder what form the web page of other hold-outs* should take. Ando's site seems to be a place holder for hopefully something better, and with Flash waning and sites built in WordPress, Drupal and other open-source formats on the rise, I don't foresee Ando being joined by other architects on my list any time soon. One site that might be a good model for Ando and other hold-outs is Morphopedia, because the site acts less as a marketing tool and more as an archive, a digital repository of Thom Mayne's output over the years. For architects with Pritzker Prizes under their belts, flexible sites ideal for archiving and browsing may be better than animated ones with graphic control but little to nil flexibility.

*Architects without web pages include Frank Gehry (this doesn't count), Herzog & de Meuron, Rafael Moneo, Glenn Murcutt, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, SANAA (as F M's comment indicates, this surely doesn't pass for a web page ), Alvaro Siza, and Peter Zumthor.


  1. In my experience, Japanese web sites - on average - tend to place much less emphasis than American sites on zippy design and Flashy features. Straight up text plus a simple background is quite typical.* Maybe this stems from an interest in universal web design, which I think is more widely considered there, or maybe because more people will be accessing web content from their phones than a pc. Or maybe it's just Japan's lack of respect for the awesomeness of the world wide web. Or maybe Ando's a luddite. Or maybe I'm full of it.

    * The exception being the really annoying overuse of frames. Frames! On a website. Built after the 90s.

  2. sanaa is also on the list?... they have one..but it just a "business card"

  3. At first view I thought it was pure HTML, but is not. It's just an image (a .gif file).

    Well, it has frames, many colored texts made with images rather than characters, it uses < tables > to do lists, etc. So I think it is a webpage with a "retro style".

  4. I'm embarrassed to say I actually took the time to navigate that one... you should make a list of firms who have held out only to be a disappointment!

  5. Is this Alvaro Siza's web page ? It says
    Copyright ©

  6. JMKR - With all those ads? And no contact information besides a form? I doubt that is Siza's official page. And the content may be Copyright ©, but that is as meaningless as having the domain, indicating Copyright © and then admitting to be Corbu. Nevertheless I think whoever runs the page is being pretty dishonest in the way it can come across as the architect's own page.


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