Tange, Kenzo


Tange, Kenzo
▪ 2006

      Japanese architect and teacher (b. Sept. 4, 1913, Osaka, Japan—d. March 22, 2005, Tokyo, Japan), embodied the Japanese reverence for the past while embracing the future in such breathtaking structures as his sports stadiums—notably Yoyogi National Stadium—for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. He was the first Japanese architect to gain an international reputation. As a student, he was inspired by the work of French architect Le Corbusier. In 1946 Tange became a professor of architecture at his alma mater, the Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo). His first major commission was Peace Memorial Park at Hiroshima (completed 1955). This he followed with a number of administrative buildings in several Japanese cities. It was his Olympic stadiums, however, that won him the highest international acclaim. In awarding him the Pritzker Prize in 1987, the jury noted that his stadiums “are often described as among the most beautiful buildings of the 20th century.” With each new commission, Tange sought to combine the timeless qualities of traditional Japanese architecture with the best of contemporary design. After the mid-1960s, he worked throughout the world—in China, Singapore, Australia, the Middle East, Italy, and the United States. Among his architectural students were Kisho Kurakawa, known for a number of museums in Japan and abroad; Fumihiko Maki, 1993 Pritzker Prize winner; and Arata Isozaki, perhaps best known for his work on the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

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Universalium. 2010.

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