Kenzo Tange was born in 1913 in Osaka, Japan. He received all of is education at the University of Tokyo from 1935 to 1938, and after assuming a position as an assistant professor of architecture, 1942 to 1945. He received a degree in engineering in 1959.
In 1961, Tange established the firm Kenzo Tange and Urtec which later became Kenzo Tange Associates. Tange’s architecture changed many forms throughout his career, but it started out as abstract International Style boxes, like the Hiroshima Peace Center (1949-56); and migrated to the elegance of materials and formal design issues, like the Minnesota Museum of Art Gallery and Schools (1970-74).
As Tange began to realize the problems of urban architecture, his architecture changed. All of his later buildings can (theoretically) have parts added or subtracted without taking much from the initial design. This ingenious solution to expansion and contraction never became well realized because Expo 70 was the only one of his urban projects actually built, although, in my opinion, his plan for Tokyo Bay was more impressive.
Kenzo Tange was the most influential Japanese architect of the past fifty years. His ability to adapt western ideas and concepts and integrate the Japanese culture into buildings made him widely recognizable. My personal favorite is the National Gymnasium for Tokyo Olympics (1931-64). Tange received many awards including the AIA gold medal in 1966, the RIBA gold medal and the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
| Time Periods
| Ask Us |