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SATURDAY

You have likely never seen reinforced concrete as lustrous as that in a typical Tadao Ando building. Neither, probably, had the Midwestern contractors who last fall completed his new Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis, a minimalist assemblage of layered, floating concrete planes that are as smoothly polished as the glass walls between them. In Japan, the building trades have vested materials that Americans consider mundane with almost religious significance, and Ando’s muted modern architecture bows to that tradition. Although his love of concrete is unmistakable, his true medium is light, which he marshals to ethereal effect in buildings such as the Church of the Light and the Suntory Museum in Osaka, and the meditation space in the Paris office of UNESCO. Only recently has this enigmatic architect begun to export his work to the United States: Besides the Pulitzer Foundation, Ando has designed the new Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, scheduled to open in November across the street from Louis Kahn’s Kimbell Art Museum. Tonight, Ando—a worthy successor to Kahn—speaks at 5:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $28. For reservations call (202) 272-2448. (Bradford McKee)