the challenge armani silos
A new exhibition on Tadao Ando opened today at Armani/Silos in Milan.
(Image credit: Delfino Sisto)

Working wonders out of light, concrete and water, Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando has long been celebrated for his lyrical minimalism, evidenced in scores of projects around the world, like his Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas and the Church of the Light in his native Japan. Now, the Osaka-based architect has just arrived in Milan for the debut of a new exhibition of his work at Armani/Silos, the eponymous fashion brand’s cavernous gallery and event space.

Giorgio Armani himself was integral in bringing the show to Italy following the successful run (of a slightly different version) at Paris’s Centre Pompidou; the fashion maven has long had a penchant for Ando’s work, having commissioned him to create the nearby Armani Theatre almost two decades ago. For his part, Ando sees a natural affinity between his own aesthetic philosophy and that of the famed fashion designer. ‘We both appreciate quality in materials and simplicity in expression,' he says.

Tadao Ando show opens at the Armani/Silos in Milan

Armani commissioned Ando to create the Armani Theatre, also in Milan, almost two decades ago.

(Image credit: SGP)

The exhibition is a testament to that same sensibility. Entitled ‘The Challenge', the show unfolds in a series of darkened rooms and uses exquisite models, videos and shop drawings to track Ando’s career from its unlikely beginnings through to its most recent triumphs. ‘I was never trained as an architect,' Ando points out, and ‘The Challenge' documents the process of self-education that shaped the designer early on, mapping his global peregrinations in search of great buildings.

The detailed mockups of his most high-profile projects to date - such as the restoration of the Punta della Dogana facility in Venice, including a whole chunk of the Venetian landscape - bring the designs to life in their fullest context; one ongoing project in Paris, the transformation of the historic Bourse into a new museum, is rendered in richly textured wood, with a cutaway showing exactly how Ando is placing an elegant ring of concrete directly under the great nineteenth century dome.   

At the same time, the cool atmosphere that hangs around the Armani compound seems an appropriate complement to the work. As Ando notes, he and his sometime client share a special bond. ‘I can see into Giorgio’s heart,’ he says, ‘and he can see into mine.’ 

Tadao Ando show opens at the Armani/Silos in Milan

The show is entitled ’The Challenge’.

(Image credit: Delfino Sisto L)

Tadao Ando show opens at the Armani/Silos in Milan

The exhibition spans Ando’s whole career.

(Image credit: Delfino Sisto Legnani)

Tadao Ando show opens at the Armani/Silos in Milan

Ando also designed the Armani Teatro in Milan.

(Image credit: Courtesy Of Giorgio Armani)

Tadao Ando show opens at the Armani/Silos in Milan

Chichu Art Museum Naoshima, 2004.

(Image credit: Tadao Ando)

Tadao Ando show opens at the Armani/Silos in Milan

Church On The Water Yufutsu, 1988.

(Image credit: Yoshio Shiratori)


’The Challenge’ is on view until 28 July 2019. For more information, visit the Armani/Silos website


via Bergognone 40