Kenzo Tange

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Works Fuji Broadcasting Center, at Tokyo, Japan, circa 1990.
Hiroshima Peace Center, at Hiroshima, Japan, 1949 to 1956.
Ichinomiya Rowhouses, at Ichinomiya, Japan, 1961.
Kurashiki City Hall, at Kurashiki, Japan, 1960.
Nichinan Cultural Center, at Nichinan, Japan, 1963.
Olympic Arena, at Tokyo, Japan, 1961 to 1964.
Small Olympic Arena, at Tokyo, Japan, 1961 to 1964.
Sogestsu Art Center, at Tokyo, Japan, 1955 to 1957.
St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo, at Tokyo, Japan, 1963.
Tokyo City Hall, at Tokyo, Japan, 1991.
Yamanashi Press and Broadcasting Center, at Yamanashi, Japan, 1967.

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Kenzo Tange

(b. Osaka, Japan, September 4, 1913; d. at age 91 Tokyo, Japan, Tuesday, March 22, 2005)

Kenzo Tange was born in Osaka, Japan in 1913. He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1938 and worked for Kunio Maekawa until 1941. He studied city planning at the graduate school at the University of Tokyo after which he assumed a position as an assistant professor of architecture. He received a degree in engineering in 1959. Two years later Tange established Kenzo Tange + Urtec which later became Kenzo Tange Associates. He served as professor of urban engineering at the University of Tokyo from 1963 to 1974, when he retired as professor emeritus.

Tange's early designs attempted to combine modernism with traditional Japanese forms of architecture. In the late 1960s he rejected this earlier regionalism in favor of an abstract international style. Although his styles have transformed over time, he has consistently generated designs based on a clear structural order.

Reflecting the influence of Le Corbusier, his urban philosophy dictates the generation of comprehensive cities filled with megastructures that combine service and transportation elements. Although closely associated with the Metabolist movement because of his functionalist ideas, he never belonged to the group.

Influential as a teacher of modern architecture, Tange received the gold medals of the RIBA, the AIA and the French Academy of Architecture. He also received the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p150.

"Throughout his career, Tange's trademark was a boldly spare and elegant style, blending Japanese and Western aesthetic principles.

"That style was appreciated around the world and his buildings were constructed in a wide range of settings -- redefining the skyline in Singapore and in reconstructing Italian towns.

"Tange captured the spirit of a rapidly developing Japan with his swooping 1964 Tokyo Olympic Stadium, often described as one of the most beautiful structures built in the 20th century.

"He also designed the towering 1991 Tokyo Metropolitan Government building."

— "Architect Who Modernized Japan Dies at 91", Reuters, 2005.0322.

The Creator's Words

"I first decided architecture was for me when I saw Le Corbusier's designs in a Japanese magazine in the 1930s."

— Kenzo Tange, quoted in "Architect Who Modernized Japan Dies at 91", Reuters, 2005.0322.


Recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, 1987.

Resources Sources on Kenzo Tange

"Anatomy of Metabolism", by C.B. Liddell, ArchitectureWeek No. 543, 2011.1214, pC1.1.

"Two International Masters", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 235, 2005.0413, pN1.1.

"Architect Who Modernized Japan Dies at 91", Reuters, 2005.0322.   Find books about Kenzo Tange

Search the RIBA architecture library catalog for more references on Kenzo Tange

Web Resources Links on Kenzo Tange

Kenzo Tange Pritzker PrizeSeveral pages of good background information, at the Pritzker Prize site.

Kenzo Tange at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

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