Kenzo Tange

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Kenzo Tange's biography and important work

Transcript of Kenzo Tange

  • By Habiba El Abd, Mohammed Badran, Mirna Abu Ghazalla

  • 1955: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima

    1957: (Former) Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Yrakuch

    1958: Kagawa Prefectural Government Building the east offices, Takamatsu, Kagawa

    1960: Kurashiki City Hall, Kurashiki, Okayama

    1964: Yoyogi National Gymnasium for the 1964 Summer Olympics & St. Mary's Cathedral (Tokyo Cathedral) (Roman Catholic), Tokyo

    1966: Master plan for rebuilding of Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, then part of Yugoslavia after the 1963 earthquake

    1967: Towers of Fiera district (Regional administration of Emilia-Romagna), Bologna, Italy

    1970: Librino New Town Project, Catania City Italy

    1977: Sogetsu Kaikan, Aoyama, Tokyo

    1979: Hanae Mori Building, Aoyama, Tokyo

    1982: Directional Center, Naples

    1982: Central Area New Federal Capital City of Nigeria, Nigeria

    1986: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

    1986: OUB Centre, Singapore

    1987: American Medical Association Headquarters Building, Chicago, Illinois, USA

    1991: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo

    1992: UOB Plaza, Singapore

    1996: Fuji Television Building, Odaiba, Tokyo

    1998: University of Bahrain, Sakhir, Bahrain

    1998: WKC Centre For Health Development, Kobe, Hygo

    2000: Kagawa Prefectural Government Building the main offices, Takamatsu, Kagawa

    2000: Tokyo Dome Hotel

    2003: The Linear Private Apartments, Singapore

    2005: Hwa Chong Institution Boarding School, Singapore

  • Kenzo Tange is one of the most significant architects of the 20th century, combining traditional Japanese styles with modernism, and designed major buildings on five continents. Kenzo Tange was also an influential protagonist of the structuralistmovement. He said: "It was, I believe, around 1959 or at the beginning of the sixties that I began to think about what I was later to call structuralism", (cited in Plan 2/1982, Amsterdam).Influenced from an early age by the French modernist, Le Corbusier, he gained international recognition in 1949 when he won the competition for the design of Peace Memorial Park. Joining the group of architects known as Team Xin the late 1950s he steered the group towards the movement that became Metabolism. His University studies into urbanism put him in an ideal position for post war redevelopment. This was explored in designs for Tokyo and Skopje. His work influenced a generation of architects across the world. Tanges best-known and most-visited creations include the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) complex in Nishi-Shinjuku, Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Harajuku and the Fuji TV building in Odaiba. However, the 1987 Pritzker Prize winner has a number of masterpieces dotted around the city that offer a glimpse into his grand vision of the capital in a future that has already begun. Tange's early designs was not only a combination between modernism with traditional Japanese forms of architecture but also his own taste of brutalism for example his Capitol Building in India. Where he is clearly influenced by Le Corbusier and his style of Brutalism. By 1964 Tanges designs proved his genuine taste and blend of styles and the pure evolution of the modernism movement. Saint Marys Cathedral was built in the same year as Yoyogi Gymnasium are two projects that are very different yet are great examples of Tanges creative taste. Saint Marys Cathedral is a far from your usual house of prayer his manifestation of Tanges futuristic visions that are both spiritual and architectural. The bare concrete walls inside shimmer with a mystical light that pours in from behind the crucifix above the altar. Viewed from above, eight massive stainless steel wings converge to form a huge cross. This sculptural yet brutalistic design is one of his most recognized work. Le Corbusier was not the only architect who inspired Tange the works of Walter Gropius and his Bauhaus movement understanding that form follows function. Although, he was not a complete functionalist because he did completely reject ornaments, however they did have to be part of the design not an addition. Kenzo Tange disliked postmodernismin the 1980s and considered this architecture to be only "transitional architectural expressions. And in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildingin Shinjukuwhich opened in 1991, Tange designed an enormous civic centre with a plaza dominated by two huge skyscrapers. These housed administration offices whilst a smaller seven storey building contained assembly facilities. In a high tech version of Kofu Communications Centre Tange equipped all three buildings with state of the art building management systems that monitored air quality, light levels and security. The external skin of the building makes dual references to both tradition and the modern condition. Tange incorporated vertical and horizontal lines reminiscent of both timber boarding and the lines on semiconductor boards. Like the Modernism, Brutalism has little decoration. It makes use of very angular geometrics, emphasizing hard materials (glass, brick, concrete) and stark form. Brutalist buildings often ignore their surroundings or cover them up with more concrete. Brutalism was coined by Alison and Peter Smithson in 1953 who built The Economist Builiding in Piccadilly, London. Brutalist buildings are usually formed with striking repetitive angular geometries, and the popular use of fare aced concrete is used. Brutalism is more of architectural philosophy then a architectural style the use of concrete and harsh geometric forms in Kenzo Tanges heroic buildings, associates the building with a social utopian deology. However, A lot of people argue that this abstract nature of Brutalism makes the style unfriendly and uncommunicative, instead of being integrating and protective, as its proponents intended. But that could be the objective of designers like Kenzo Tange that the building stand out and is not integrated in the setting. It is also said that brutalism disregards the social, historic, and architectural environment of its surroundings, making the introduction of such structures in existing developed areas appear starkly out of place and alien. However this is not the case of Kenzo Tange his integration of traditional Japanese forms. To conclude Kenzo Tange style transformed over time however has consistently kept to the generation of geometrical designs based on a clear structural formats in mega structures.

    Left: 1960: Kurashiki City Hall, Kurashiki, OkayamaAbove: Capitol building, IndiaBoth examples of Brutalism by Kemzo Tange.

  • Location: Nichinan, Miyazaki, JapanDate: 1962.Building type: Cultural center Construction system: Reinforced concrete.Climate: Humid subtropical.Context: Urban.Style: Modern Architecture, Cubisim.

    "Architecture always should be a reflection or expression of social structure...This structure should not be considered static, but dynamicalways advancing forward from the past to the future...This advancing social structure has some kind of energy inside, otherwise it cannot move itself. I think this energy is hidden or sleeping in the peoples' bodies and minds but they do not recognize this energy in themselves. So we have to give the image to the peoples' desires. In order to find new solutions to satisfy the peoples' desires or energy, I myself, and other younger generations in our country are striving to overcome our traditional weakness and so-called modernism, by trying to create new spaces and forms more suitable to their energy. This energy, it may be called vitality.- Kenzo Tange. form Udo Kultermann, ed. Kenzo Tange: 1946-1969 Architecture and Urban Design. p9.

    "The oblique volumes interpenetrate each other, creating a formal composition unique in its class. The auditorium rising up diagonally, is the key module on which, with certain variations, the rest of the buildings are based. Together, the exterior and interior spaces create an indivisible architectural whole. The area intended for large gatherings is preceded by a vestibule and other halls which can be used for a variety of purposes. Interior and exterior surfaces alike are of concrete. The slightly curving forms of the openings, the projecting ventilation shafts and guttering all serve to strengthen the play of volumetrics and the geometric character of the complex."Udo Kultermann. Kenzo Tange: Works and Projects. p170.

    Perfect example or Brutalism Style is the Culture Centre in Nichinan, its angular shapes and rectilinear form are diagonally crossing each other integrating volumes and spaces in between. The auditorium is the centre form in the middle and it is inclined diagonally up with the two walls diagonally closing in however they do not meet between them there is a stage.The structure itself is massive and the interior spaces are huge created for social activity. The angularity of the building highlights its importance. Although, it is a smooth ceiling the overall form is harsh the wide V shaped roof is noticeable from miles away. It is designed to stand as a free standing monument thats volume space and size connote its vitality. The fenestrations are all equal size and distance, they are projecting outwardly with two vertical concrete slabs on either side.. This breaks up the diagonal horizontality of the building.

    To Conclude we can see from both the cross-section and the plan the building is made of oblique volume obstructing or interpenetrating one another. The auditorium is the focal point and module rising up diagonally with all the rest of the buildings shapes looking like it but played around with a little.There is a complete marriage of the interior and exterior.It contains several halls starting with the large one for gatherings, a vestibule then other multi purpose halls.