Tadao Ando: Times Building, Kyoto
The Times building in Kyoto, popularly known as I (built in 1984) and II (built in 1991, back portion) is a commercial space that carries the architect’s trademark style of bare concrete in minimalist design. It is the first of two works in the city, the second is the Garden of Fine Arts just beside the Kyoto Botanical Garden which was built in 1994.
READ MORE: Tadao Ando: Garden of Fine Arts, Kyoto
The Times building was designed like a boat floating on the river, in reference to the takasebune, flat boats in the 17th century that navigated through the Takase River, the one beside the structure, as it goes around Kyoto transporting different kinds of goods. Although there have been side stories about how Ando was stubborn in having his way when this was built, I can’t verify the source.
What is important though is how this building, compact in size, surprises visitors with its distribution of spaces and the way walls, marking boundaries into the semi-labyrinthine paths intersect and flow. And how the interplay of light and shadows, chasing each other at different times of day and season brings a certain kind of unpredictability.
Sanjo Dori, Kyoto
Hi! I’m Stan Cabigas, a freelance architecture and travel photographer, writer and blogger from the Philippines. TenZeroFour is my primary Architecture Photography blog. Let me photograph your space, let’s collaborate.
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