Japan 2012 - Time's I & II in Kyoto
One of the sights that was on the top of my must see list in Kyoto was 2 architectural projects by Japanese Master Architect Tadao Ando. The 2 projects are next to each other and are simply called Time's I and Time's II. Located along Takase River in the Pontocho District of Kyoto, these 2 buildings are among Ando's earliest works, and they remain 2 of the most popular buildings he has designed.
Ando is revered for his minimalist architecture which uses nothing more then concrete, space and light to shape his buildings. Time's I & II are no exception. The walls are mostly made of concrete blocks, left unfinished. The form is strictly rectilinear, with the curved roof as the only departure from straight lines. From a small and tight site, the architect has masterfully carved out interesting public spaces which weave in and out of the buildings. And the clever use of light and texture is a masterclass in minimalist design.
The Takase River where the buildings are situated has an interesting history. It is very shallow, and yet was used to transport goods through the city using flat-bedded boats called Takasebune. Ando wanted his buildings to look like boats, so he brought the lowest level of the building right down to the water level.