Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando is the fourth Japanese architect in our overall top 20, and with design studio Nendo at number 20, this makes Japan the leading country for design talent in our Hot List.

At 75, Ando is also one of the oldest figures in our list. The self-taught architect has been in practice since 1968 but his work – characterised by the use of raw concrete, dramatic play of natural light, forms that follow the landscape and an often complex interplay of interior and exterior spaces – continues to be both prolific and popular.

While best known for his work in his home country, Ando's relatively high position on our inaugural Hot List is largely due to a string of projects he's completed in Mexico.

Most popular this year is his Casa Wabi Foundation on the Mexican coast, which blends his signature austere concrete with a surprisingly rustic thatched roof.

His other Mexican projects are more classically Ando-esque: the private house he designed in the mountains of the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park is a puzzle of intersecting concrete planes, while his architecture and design school in Monterrey, which we published in 2013, is a slashed brutalist mass.

Top posts:

1. Tadao Ando's Casa Wabi is an artist's retreat that stretches along the Mexican coast

2. Tadao Ando says his first New York building will be "a very quiet piece of architecture"

3. Tadao Ando's Casa Monterrey nestles against a hillside in Mexico

4. House in Sri Lanka by Tadao Ando photographed by Edmund Sumner

5. Centro Roberto Garza Sada de Arte Arquitectura y Diseño by Tadao Ando