Fundación Casa Wabi
Ando's unique architectural design impresses for its visual impact and perfect fit for its art residents.
Wabi-Sabi is a famous Japanese concept representing the beauty and wisdom behind imperfection. To create art, abiding to said concept, it is to embrace the continuous process behind each work. With that in mind, Fundación Casa Wabi, located in Mexico, fosters art residencies for six artists at a time—a true opportunity to better themselves and exercise their creative process in an extraordinary dwelling by none other than Tadao Ando.
Tadao Ando, the celebrated Japanese architect was commissioned to create a multipurpose space facing the Pacific Ocean; the ocean view is left unhindered with the natural vegetation left untouched. Since the site has a generous length, the starting point was an absolute 312 meters single concrete wall dividing the public and private program. And thus, the minimalist aesthetics start to seep in. Not only does one color reign all walls and stone flooring, the texture of the burnt cement is clearly a feature in itself throughout. As the red and orange reflect the beautiful sunset, Ando specifically chose these colors for potential visual variations. An impressive feat indeed considering the usual path for costal abodes.
The pool area manages to steal the spotlight for itself. The true star of the Fundácion is the inconspicuous area for the students’ well deserved breaks. Acting as an extension of the house, the rectangular pool makes for a gorgeous visual composition alongside the thin runway.
To represent the Oaxaca Coast region of Mexico, Ando did not forget to infuse a strong regional element into the project. The modern lower part meets an interesting juxtaposition with a traditional element of huts: the Palapa roofs. A risky maneuver in the hand of an experienced architect that proved to be worth it. The mix of Ando’s trademark minimalism with the thatched roof made of dried palm leaves is a strong statement of the versatility of the aesthetic in hand.