Building
Small Olympic Arena
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Architect Kenzo Tange
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Location Tokyo, Japan   map
Date 1961 to 1964   timeline
Building Type sports arena, stadium
 Construction System concrete, steel cable
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Structural Expressionist Modern
Notes suspended swoosh-shaped roof.
Images

 

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Drawings

 


Plan Drawing

Drawing

Section Drawing

Discussion Small Olympic Arena Commentary

"The smaller stadium, to the south-west of the first,...connects with the larger stadium by way of a series of underground or ground level facilities. Here again the form is based on a circle. The skin which roofs the building is suspended form an eccentric mast. The interior is clad in wood. The roof and the spaces it defines compose a single indivisible whole."

— Udo Kultermann. Kenzo Tange: Works and Projects. p137.

" Built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympiad, the two sports halls by Tange are among this architect's most exciting projects. If the drama of space is one of the main ingredients of a really successful piece of architecture, then here it is, matched by a masterful technology. Both buildings are developed from the circle and the ellipse in plan and section. They are linked by an immense raked promenade on top of a single-storey structure....[B]oth are generically similar, with concave suspension roofs....

The designer was aware of the problem of claustrophobia, and the 'open-design' aims to overcome this by the provision of full-height windows swooping up into the cleft roof space."

— Dennis Sharp. A Visual History of Twentieth-Century Architecture. p261.

The Creator's Words

"We Japanese architects, in our endeavours to resolve the problems facing modern Japan, have devoted a great deal of attention to the Japanese tradition, and have, in the end, arrived at the point which I have sought to elucidate for you. If, however, there can be detected a trace of tradition in my works or in those of my generation, then our creative powers have not been at their best, then we are still in the throes of evolving our creativity. I want, by all means, my buildings to be free of the label 'traditional.'

— Kenzo Tange. from Udo Kultermann, ed. Kenzo Tange: 1946-1969 Architecture and Urban Design. p9.

Details

Address: 1, Jinnan 2-chome, Shibuya-ka, Tokyo

Resources
Sources on Small Olympic Arena

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. unit to whole diagram, p161. — Updated edition available at Amazon.com

The Hyatt Foundation. The Pritzker Architecture Prize 1987: Presented to Kenzo Tange. Osamu Murai, photographs. The Hyatt Foundation, 1987. color photo of exterior aerial view, p5.

Udo Kultermann. Kenzo Tange: Works and Projects. 1st spanish/english edition. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, S.A., 1989. ISBN 84-252-1400-9. NA1559.T33K83 1989. p9, p137.

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1975. aerial photo, p263. Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0. — An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. Available at Amazon.com

Paolo Riani. Kenzo Tange. Twentieth century masters. London, New York: The Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1970. Color plate of interior, f40.

Dennis Sharp. A Visual History of Twentieth-Century Architecture. Greenwich, Connecticut: New York Graphic Society Ltd., 1972. NA 680 .S52 1972b. SBN 8212-0425-4. LC 78-177906. p261.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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