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.