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.



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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