The Church of the Light in Ibaraki, 25km from Osaka, Japan is a building which is identified with Japanese architect, Tadao Ando. Originally a building of Christian worship, it was partially redesigned in 1989 and the project was completed in 1999.
Ando’s philosophy of architecture and its connection to the environment is expressed in the simplistic purity of shapes and empty spaces, particularly in the church, allowing the congregation to create the spiritual atmosphere rather depending on the symbolic ornaments usually found in such a space.
The concrete used in the construction defies the modern day use of luxurious materials used in most religious buildings. The art of the architect is possibly misunderstood by the congregation but one must only examine the precision that only an expert could achieve. The methods used by Ando transform and enhance the appearance of the humble materials giving a shine to the concrete which reflects the necessary light into the interior, an example of Ando’s skill of implementing opposing qualities within his structures.
He states that his concept is natural illumination, a feat difficult to achieve in a primarily concrete structure but one which Ando manages superbly.