Shanghai Poly Grand Theatre. Tadao Ando's concrete and glass captured in new photographs

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Design architect
Tadao Ando Architect & Associates.- Tadao Ando, Kazuya Okano, Yoshinori Hayashi
Associate Architect
Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tonji University
Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tonji University (civil/MEP)
Beijing Qingshang Architectural Ornamental Engineering (interiors); Zhang Kuisheng Acoustical Design and Research Studio (acoustics)
General Cordinator
Construction Manager
Shanghai Poly Jia Real Estate Development
Shanghai Poly Jia Real Estate Development Co.Ltd
China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd (Shanghai)
602,000 square feet
Completion Date
August 2014


Tadao Ando was born in Osaka, Japan in 1941. A self-educated architect, he spent time in nearby Kyoto and Nara, studying firsthand the great monuments of traditional Japanese architecture. Between 1962 and 1969 he traveled to the United States, Europe, and Africa, learning about Western architecture, history, and techniques. His studies of both traditional Japanese and modern architecture had a profound influence on his work and resulted in a unique blend of these rich traditions.

In 1969 Ando established Tadao Ando Architect and Associates in Osaka. He is an honorary fellow in the architecture academies of six countries; he has been a visiting professor at Yale, Columbia, and Harvard Universities; and in 1997, he became professor of architecture at Tokyo University.

Ando has received numerous architecture awards, including the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995, the 2002 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, and also in 2002, the Kyoto Prize for lifetime achievement in the arts and philosophy. His buildings can be seen in Japan, Europe, the United States, and India.

In fall 2001, following up on the comprehensive master plan commissioned from Cooper, Robertson & Partners in the 1990s and completed in 2001, Tadao Ando was selected to develop an architectural master plan for the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute to expand its buildings and enhance its 140-acre campus.


Yueqi ‘Jazzy’ Li is a licensed architect and photographer based in NYC. A graduate of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and Tulane University in New Orleans, he received the distinguished Dean’s Honor Scholarship and won a number of other awards and competitions while in school. Li has worked at EXH Design, a Swiss-Chinese firm in his native China and Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu (SO-IL) in New York, where he led the Flockr Pavilion to completion as project lead. Currently Li has been working at Ennead Architects in NYC and Shanghai since 2013.

Li's architectural photography intends to capture space, life, and detail in buildings and urban environments. His documentary style of work is completely informed by his architect eye where he approaches each shoot as a design sketch on paper. Each photograph has a focus, be it clarity of structure, transparency of glass, or ephemerality of a shadow. Together they narrate architectural stories that may be otherwise untold. 

In his design work, he is informed by a contemporary sensibility that emphasizes context and minimalism aesthetics. Part of a new generation of western-trained Chinese architects, he believes that there is an emerging Chinese modernity in architecture that has yet to be fully developed. His architect heros include WrightSaarinen, and Wang Shu, whose explorations in light and in materiality inspired works such as Straw-blurry Fields and NMCM Master Plan.




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