Tadao Ando's Nakanoshima Subway Station
Steve here: Osaka’s Nakanoshima Island is home to public buildings such as city hall, a few museums and the Japanese national reserve bank. Until recently, the concrete covered island, located in the center of a river in the heart of bustling Osaka, had little appeal as an area of leisure activity. Then, Pritzker-award winning architect, Tadao Ando, raised a large sum from public donations and planted 3000 cherry trees around the
island and created places for such activities as strolling and sidewalk art shows. I have asked American architect, M. Charles Bernstein, to comment of Ando’s stunning design of the island’s newly opened subway entrance.
M. Charles Bernstein: This subway station like much of Ando’s work is based on a simple form that belies a complex of subtle experiences. The matt finish steel clad half vaulted solid wall rising directly out of the ground is a foil for the more sensual glass block facing on its interior surface. The shimmering and reflective surface embraces the descent below ground – glass walls on three sides brings daylight flooding the stair down and escalator ride up. This is a transition space designed to be experienced as one moves quickly from open sky to underground. As with much of Ando’s work, the simple form belies a definitive sense of place.
The works of Los Angeles-based, architect, M. Charles Bernstein, A.I.A., can be found at http://www.mcharlesbernstein.com/