Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, was born in Osaka, Japan on September 13, 1941. A self-taught architect, Ando, worked as a professional truck driver and then a boxer before being greatly impressed by the architecture of the Imperial Hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright during a school trip to Tokyo. Immediately, he began a self-imposed study regimen; taking night classes in drawing and correspondence classes on interior design, visiting and studying the buildings of renowned architects such as Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe. Finally, he established his own design studio in Osaka in 1968.
His designs have always been influenced by Japan's culture, religion and language. Most of his buildings create a Zen effect and this is one of the distinguishing marks of his work. The use of concrete plays heavily into his building designs because the final result is one that represents the simplicity he aims to achieve.
Ando has won numerous international awards, such as the Pritzker Prize in 1995 and began a school of art, design and architecture at the University of Monterrey, California, in 2013. His public and private buildings can be found around the world -from Tokyo, Japan to Monterey, California and from Venice, Italy to Puerto Escondido, Mexico (Casa Wabi).