Casa Wabi Tadao Ando

© Edmund Sumner

Completed in 2014  by Japanese Architect Tadao Ando, Casa Wabi is an Art Centre and residential house organized along a 312-meter long concrete wall in a picturesque site on the Mexican seafront. The house is named after the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi: the beauty of life’s imperfections.

Casa Wabi by Tadao Ando Technical Information

  • Architects: Tadao Ando
  • Location: Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Program: Art Center + House
  • Project year: 2014
  • Client: Bosco Sodi
  • Architect of record: BAAQ’ – Jose Alfonso Quñones, Luis Muñoz Pérez, Joaquin Castillo
  • Structural engineer: Javier Ribe Alfredo Athie
  • Photographs: © Edmund Sumner

The project site is situated directly facing the South Pacific Ocean, sharing 550 metres of coastline with only the breathtaking beach. With such a generous length of site, I have created a single concrete wall of 312 metres long by 3.6 metres high.

The wall creates horizontal separation between public programmes on the north side and private programmes on the south side. The wall also generates the main circulation path cutting across every programme, serving as a dual interior and exterior wall. Rich red and orange sunset is to be reflected on the concrete surface.

– Tadao Ando

Casa Wabi by Tadao Ando  Photographs
Casa Wabi Tadao Ando

© Edmund Sumner

Casa Wabi Tadao Ando

© Edmund Sumner

Casa Wabi Tadao Ando

© Edmund Sumner

Casa Wabi Tadao Ando

© Edmund Sumner

Casa Wabi Tadao Ando

© Edmund Sumner

The building gives shelter for the Casa Wabi Foundation, a philanthropic organization set up by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi and coordinated by Patricia Martin, best known as the curator of Latin America’s most prominent private artistry gathering, the Colección Júmex. Sodi’ always respected Ando’s building design’ and asked the Japanese Pritzker Prize-winning architect to design his foundation’s new offices.

The Casa Wabi Foundation has room to host six occupants at the same time; with this in mind, the facilities include six villas suited to meet all essential needs for a comfortable stay, a library, two shared studios, a gallery, a projection room, a garden, and other recreational spaces.

The arrangement is laid out like a big compass. The long solid concrete wall runs east to west, following the coastline, to make a series of various rooms and zones.

Casa Wabi Tadao Ando

© Edmund Sumner

Casa Wabi Tadao Ando

© Edmund Sumner

Casa Wabi Tadao Ando

© Edmund Sumner

Casa Wabi Tadao Ando

© Edmund Sumner

Casa Wabi Tadao Ando

© Edmund Sumner

In the south-north axis, the primary vehicle approach is located, and a narrow patio and swimming pool extend out towards the water’s edge.

Nearby facilities incorporate six private rooms, two sharing studies, an exhibition gallery, a sculpture garden, a multipurpose room, a projection room, and various recreational places. Casa Wabi serves as a meeting place for artisans, offering an assortment of residency projects. These stays can go between 15 days and three months, with cabin and everyday costs secured by the establishment. Amid their stay, occupants keep a diary of their encounters in their preferred format. These records then turn out to be a piece of the foundation’s permanent archive.

To appear differently to the walls’ starkness and linearity, the roof is made with layers of dried Royal Palm Tree leaves, normally used in the area since they give shelter while permitting ventilation.

Structures with these kinds of roofs are referred to locally as Palapa.

Casa Wabi by Tadao Ando Plans
Casa Wabi Site Plan | © Tadao Ando

Site Plan | © Tadao Ando

Casa Wabi Floor Plan | © Tadao Ando

Casa Wabi Floor Plan | © Tadao Ando

Casa Wabi Gallery of Images
About Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando is an acclaimed Japanese architect based in Osaka who won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995.  He is a self-taught architect who has actively been engaged in social projects as well as post-disaster reconstructions. Ando’s work frequently combines large expanses of unadorned concrete walls with wooden or stone floors. Architectural historian Francesco Dal Co has categorized his approach to architecture as “critical regionalism.”

More Works from Tadao Ando | Tadao Ando Profile & Bibliography

Cite this article: "Casa Wabi Art Centre / Tadao Ando" in ArchEyes, January 18, 2016, https://archeyes.com/casa-wabi-tadao-ando/.