A building created by our hearts.
Tadao Ando's speech at the dedicational ceremony on May 14, 1989.
Today, I am deeply moved by the feeling that at last the church has been really completed because we, as builders, and the church members, as users, have been looking forward to the completion eagerly.
Looking around Osaka, many buildings have been constructed or are under construction.
In many cases, builders, carpenter, plasterers and others in the field of construction do not know what building they are making. Owners of buildings just think about why economic results or how they can make money. People leaving close to construction sites aren't just hoping to recover silence of their area after constructions will finish.
They are not expecting how they are going to utilize buildings. Many buildings are completed without celebration by builders or people close to them.
However, construction of this building was tough.
At the beginning, Mr. H. Miyamoto and Minister Karukome came to our office to commission us for a design. They explained about the conditions. First, they had incredibly limited funds at hand. Second, they wanted to build a new Chapel in addition to that existing wooden building which they were using as a church at that time. After I heard their explanation about the conditions, I said that it would be impossible to realize this plan. I thought that it would not be completed to the end. The more I met them and they send to their plan, the more I felt desperate. But I came to the conclusion that I would challenge this very tough project because the church people's passion and eagerness gave me hope. I undertook this work knowing that there would be many difficulties.
As I anticipated, we did have many problems. The hardest one was the construction rush in that Osaka area. When we were going to finalize the design, it was a very hard to find a construction company to realise this project. One day, Mr. Ichiryu, President of the Tatsumi Construction Company, came to us and said they would undertake this construction, because it would be highly significant to complete this building although they thought they could not make any profit on it. Since I was deeply touched by his passion, I said to him "let's make progress through hardships".
One of the big difficulties was labour shortage in the construction field like concrete form work crafts men. Workers, on the way to our construction field, often change their mind to get another job where they could earn higher wages.
Construction was gradually behind time schedule. I thought that this chapel might be completed without any roof.
But, the church community and the people engaged in construction did not give up hope.
At that time, I had less chance to visit the construction site and could not share their sufferings which I could easily have understood if I have met them.
Anyway, the members of our church community, the people of the construction company and Tadao Ando Architect & Associates continued to walk together looking for a glimmer of hope. Due to their hard efforts, at last the construction was completed although it was behind schedule. I have learned that were money makes the world go round, an assemblage of people's hearts put forth their strength. That is really what I should commemorate. I will keep in mind that people's hearts can break economy.
Today, I am quite delighted, but had some concern this morning. On the way to this ceremony, I became concerned about whether the church people would use this building well which our office, Mr. Ichiryu and his company people have brought up under our enduring care in a will hand over to the church people today.
However, looking over your face this year, I am now confident that you will keep this building with even better care that we could expect and that it will improve as time goes by.
We have just given birth to it. I think that it will grow while you are using it. And, I hope that this building will help this church become indispensable to the city in 20 or 30 years.
Thank you for giving me such a great commission.