Giorgio Armani and Tadao Ando.

MILAN Giorgio Armani is staging a new exhibition at his Silos space to open on the eve of the upcoming Salone del Mobile, or Milan Design Week. Running from April 8 to July 28, “The Challenge — Tadao Ando” exhibit will be the venue’s first dedicated to architecture.

The retrospective will display more than 50 projects by Ando, illustrated with sketches, original blueprints, video installations, technical drawings, travel notes and photographs taken by the Japanese architect himself.

Designed by Ando and his studio in collaboration with Centre Pompidou and specially adapted for Armani/Silos, the exhibit’s narrative journey will be structured around four main themes: Primitive Shapes of Space; An Urban Challenge; Landscape Genesis, and Dialogues With History.

This is not the first time Armani has collaborated with Ando, as the architect created the designer’s theater standing on the opposite side of the Silos in 2001.

Born in Osaka in 1941, Ando began his self-education in architecture after a brief stint as a boxer. At 18, he started to visit temples, shrines and tea houses in Kyoto and Nara, studying architecture by going to see actual buildings and reading books about them. After study trips to Europe and the U.S. in the Sixties, he returned to Osaka to establish his own design studio, Tadao Ando Architects & Associates in 1969.

Ando has received many awards throughout his career, such as the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1995, considered the highest distinction in the field. Other recognitions included the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize for the Row House in Sumiyoshi in 1979; Japan Art Academy Prize in 1993; Person of Cultural Merit in Japan in 2003; John F. Kennedy Center Gold Medal in the Arts in 2010, and Commander of the Order of Art and Letters in France in 2013.

In 2015, he was also bestowed with the Grand Officer of the Order of Merit distinction in Italy. In addition to conceiving the Armani theater, Ando’s work in Italy included the project for the renovation and expansion of Benetton’s think tank center Fabrica in 2000 and the restoration of the Punta della Dogana contemporary art museum in Venice, which was unveiled in 2009, after French business titan François Pinault took over the location.

The Tadao Ando exhibit at Armani/Silos will follow the retrospective dedicated to French photographer Charles Fréger that was unveiled at the venue during Milan Men’s Fashion Week in January.

In recent years, the Armani/Silos space, which opened in April 2015, has staged solo exhibitions of photographers Larry Fink and Sarah Moon and artist Paolo Ventura, as well as a collective display of images by the likes of Aldo Fallai, Kurt and Weston Markus, Tom Munro, David Sims and Richard Phibbs.

Last month, the venue also served as special location for the Giorgio Armani coed fall 2019 fashion show. This was a first for the designer, who showed at his Teatro for years.

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