I have always been annoyed by Tadao Ando‘s self seriousness which always pushes him to develop only an architecture of solemnity, reserved to the gods rather than the humans. HOWEVER, I just discovered (it was about time probably !) the library he designed for the Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum in Osaka (2001) and I was very much seduced by it, so much that it made me forget any kind of grief I used to have against him !
Too many architects, when designing a library, accomplish beautiful works (I am thinking of Toyo Ito’s Tama Art University Library or Louis Kahn’s Phillips Exeter Academy Library) but tend to forget to include the books are essential generator of their architecture. On the contrary with Ando here, the shelves compose a magnificent vertical wall and each book require an important effort to access, as if they needed to be deserved in order to be read.