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Architects' Sketchbooks, Episode 3: Tadao Ando

There have been reports that, given the proliferation of digital tools and time-saving software now available, architects no longer draw or sketch as we used to. In this series, I'm hoping to prove otherwise, by delving into the sketchbooks of designers – both famous and otherwise – hopefully revealing some hidden gems of drawing, painting and sketching along the way.

After the vibrant watercolours of Steven Holl and the precisely penciled musings of Le Corbusier, the sketches of Tadao Ando get straight to the point: they are simplistic in the extreme, an epitome of the restrained, minimalist style for which the king of concrete is renowned.

Key gestures – the cross of a chapel, a plain concrete wall, a shaft of light – are emphasized as singular motifs within each drawing, with other details deemed unnecessary in illustrating Ando's distilled concepts. They offer a glimpse of the understated magic found within the Japanese architect's finished buildings, encapsulating his belief that light, shadow and space should be prioritized over our preoccupation with material forms in the design process.

If you have a sketch you would like showcased, send it over via a message on the official Angry Architect Facebook Page, and who knows, maybe you'll be featured next!

Yours sketchily,

The Angry Architect



Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas



Punta Della Dogana Contemporary Arts Centre, Venice


Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas




The Pullitzer Foundation, St Louis



Roberto Garza Sada Center for Arts, Architecture and Design, Monterrey, Mexico





Morimoto Restaurant, New York City



Church on the Water, Tomamu, Hokkaido, Japan