Page N3.1 . 07 November 2001                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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Art of Ando in St. Louis

by ArchitectureWeek

The new building for the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, designed by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando, is a deceptively simple composition of space and light. The PFA building, Ando's first public structure in the United States, celebrated its long-awaited opening in October, 2001. It was intended from the outset as both a serene setting for the contemplation of art and a contribution toward revitalizing the urban landscape of historic St. Louis.

Ando himself thinks of the building as a "place of possibility" or a "place of mutual discovery." He says: "I see it as the creation of a space to inspire visitors and even expand their consciousness. I want to create a very stimulating place, where works of art are not exhibited merely as specimens but also speak to us as living things."

The PFA is a 9,500-square-foot (880-square-meter) building of cast-in-place, fine-finish, reinforced concrete. It consists of two long rectangles, one of which is ten feet (3 meters) taller than the other. A cantilevered roof slab extends from the higher wing over the lower, supported by a single column. On the lower roof are a glass pavilion and roof garden. Between the two wings is a reflecting pool.

The main entrance to the building is situated along the north facade, where it is shielded from Washington Boulevard by a porch area. Double glass doors, located off-axis, admit the visitor into a low foyer and gallery in the building's west wing.

 

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ArchWeek Image

The new building for the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts is the first public structure in the United States by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
Photo: Robert Pettus

ArchWeek Image

Like many Ando designs, the PFA is a continuous play of light on concrete.
Photo: Robert Pettus

 

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