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When I first saw the site, a long piece of land stretched toward the mountaintop, I imagined I could create a different world removed from its surroundings on this unusual ground.
I always wished to create a place that could provide the “energy for life” — nourishment for the mind that will last even when one becomes a hundred years old, restoring the energy to children to run and shout for joy in nature, who had lost their vitality overstressed by the cramming educational regime. Therefore I did not want to build an ordinary museum that is like a silent box, and this site was a perfect spot for realizing my plan.
In the beginning, I was somewhat concerned about its location quite far from Seoul, wondering whether people would actually take the time to visit the museum. However, the peculiar charms of the land and the Hansol Group advisor Lee In-hee’s enthusiasm to show art works that she has collected for more than thirty years to more people convinced me to design the museum. After years of planning and construction, the efforts and passion of numerous people finally came to fruition with the opening of the Museum SAN.
My worries proved unnecessary. The enthusiasm of Lee was well harmonized with the needs of the public, and the museum has been attracting many people including regular visitors since its inauguration. I wanted to turn the entire site into the “Museum” not just the buildings — a place where both adults and children can spend a special day to enrich their sensibility for art and nature, newly discover themselves and regain the “energy for life.” Has this dream of mine come true?
The Museum SAN has now become one of the outstanding attractions in Korea, worthy of its international reputation.
I hope the Museum SAN will continue to challenge itself to become a museum that creates and transmits new cultures to the world, representing Korea, and furthermore, the world.

 
  • 1941
  • 1962-69
  • 1969
  • Born in Osaka, Japan
  • Taught himself architecture
  • Founded the Tadao Ando Architects & Associates
Awards
  • 1979
  • 1989
  • 1995
  • 2005
  • 2010
  • Annual Prize, Architectural Institute of Japan
  • Gold Medal of Architecture, French Academy of Architecture
  • Pritzker Architecture Prize
  •  
  • Order of Culture, Japan
Teaching
  • 1987
  • 1988
  • 1990
  • 1997-
  • 2003-
  • Visiting Professor, Yale University
  • Visiting Professor, Columbia University
  • Visiting Professor, Harvard University
  • Professor, Tokyo University
  • Professor Emeritus, Tokyo University
Projects
  • 1983
  • 1976
  • 1989
  • 1992
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2004
  • 2006
  • 2009
  • Rokko Housing I, II (1993), III (1999), Kobe, Hyogo
  • Row House in Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi, Osaka
  • Church of the Light Sunday School Ibaraki, Osaka
  • Benesse House, Naoshima, Kagawa
  • Awaji-Yumebutai, Hyogo
  • The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts St. Louis, Missouri, United States
  • Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, United States
  • Chichu Art Museum Naoshima, Kagawa
  • Omotesando Hills, Shibuya, Tokyo
  • Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy