Planes, Light, Reflections, Church of the Light at Ibaraki, near Osaka (1988-1989)
Church of the Light
A remarkable artist of movement and complex composition, Tadao Ando is also an artist of light. He relates to light in all his work, not lavishly or carelessly, but with strict economy and restraint. He envisions light shining out of darkness, light and shadow, positive and negative, from which the architectural space is born. In the Church of the Light at Ibaraki, a diagonal wall at an angle of 15º crosses a simple rectangular area, while a narrow cruciform opening in the exterior wall illuminates this dark space.
In his essay "Light" in the German architectural journal "Yearbook of Light and Architecture" (Berlin, 1993), Ando wrote:"Today, when all is cast in homogeneous light, I am committed to pursuing the interrelationship of light and darkness. Light, whose beauty within darkness is as of jewels that one might cup in one's hands; light that, hollowing out darkness and piercing our bodies, blows life into 'place'. It was space constructed of such light as this that I sought, for example, in Church of the Light." He adds: "Here, I prepared a box with thick enclosing walls of concrete - a 'construction of darkness'. I then cut a slot in one wall, allowing the penetration of light - under conditions of severe constraint. At that moment, a shaft of light sharply fractures the darkness... Space is born."