The "Frate Sole" lnternational Award for Sacred Architecture has been set up in order to promote awareness of authentic values in the planning and building of churches. lt has on this occasion been awarded to the Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
His religious architecture - the chapel on Mount Rokko at Kobe (1985-86), the water chapel at Tomamu (1985-88), the church of light at Ibaraki - is marked by a clear simplicity of form, by purity of line, and by a mystical intensity, elements which are essential for the characterization of any space as sacred.
The poetic emotion which distinguishes Tadao Ando's work communicates a sense of the presence of the Spirit of God, achieved by the sparing and intelligent use of the relations between space, surfaces and light.
A further significant source of emotion is the way in which the landscape in his work - natural elements like plants, the sky and water - plays a constructive, poetical role in the constitution of the sacred space, projecting an architecturai statement onto a cosmic plane.
This lnternational Award for Sacred Architecture pays tribute to the artistic validity of Tadao Ando's sacred spaces, and recognizes that they are capable of giving to the interior act of prayer the visible form of truth.
The overall aim of this Award is to offer models for architectural research, in the belief that the principles of simplicity, discipline and purity of form are primary values for which there is no substitute.