Tadao Ando was born in 1941 in Osaka in Japan's Kansai region. His interest in design developed early, when he began an apprenticeship with a local carpenter at the age of 10. Ando's deep interest in architecture was kindled when, at the age of 15, he purchased a book of sketches by the modern design pioneer, Le Corbusier. The autodidact architect is known for giving the Japanese design tradition a modern, western expression. His architecture is known to be clean in line and simple in form with minimalist and exacting solutions that merge Japanese architecture with western modernism.
To further explore his personal design philosophy, Tadao Ando founded Tadao Ando Architects & Associates in 1969, where his ideas on architectural design really took root. He has since achieved international acclaim and his original works have received prestigious awards such as the Carlsberg Prize in 1992, the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995, Premium Imperiale award in 1996, and the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal in 1997. He has been responsible for over 150 construction projects of various sizes in Japan and internationally, including the Azuma building in Osaka, Chichu Art Museum in Naoshima, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis, and the Teatro Armani in Milan.