Brief

The 100 Step Garden, designed by architect Tadao Ando as a memorial to victims of a 1995 earthquake in Japan, features exposed concrete steps. Ando says the park represents “a symbol of rebirth that commemorates death and devastation by celebrating their opposites: life and beauty.

 

Insight

Tadao Ando is renowned for his extreme attention to nature, and more specifically to the relation between human beings and their architecture on one side and natural elements and landscape on the other side.

This extreme attention reveals sometimes in little details, like the small cherry leaf Ando wanted to be printed on a concrete wall of his Conference Pavilion at the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein to commemorate a tree he was forced to remove during construction, sometimes in monumental constructions, such as the famous Wood Culture Museum in Japan.

In this sense, the project presented here, known as The 100 Step Garden, is exemplary of Ando’s vision of the relationship between humans and nature.Like the leaf at Vitra, it originates from the desire to heal a wound inflicted on nature by men.

Indeed, the garden is located on Awaji, a small island in the Hyōgo Prefecture in Japan, which had been dug intensively in the 1970s and 1980s to collect landfill for various projects in Osaka Bay, including the Kansai airport. The natural environment of the island had been consequently badly damaged.

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