Kenzō Tange: Architecture for the World - Aesthetic Post

Kenzō Tange: Architecture for the World

Inspired by Le Corbusier, a young student named Kenzō Tange studied architecture at University of Tokyo in the 1930s; he proceeded to become one of the preeminent architects of the twentieth-century, designing major buildings on five continents. Tange’s unique approach to interpreting traditional Japanese styles through modernism resulted in him being considered the first non-Western architect whose works would be embraced as universal in their value.

Assembled and edited by Seng Kuan and Yukio Lippit, in cooperation with Harvard University Graduate School of Design, this book, Kenzō Tange: Architecture for the World, is a comprehensive study of Tange’s philosophy and contributions to the history of architecture. Archival drawings, period photographs, essays, and case studies explore the diversity and influence of Tange’s work. The book chronicles his most celebrated projects, as well as his collaborations that extended to allied fields such as engineering, furniture design, and photography. In addition to illustrating the great diversity of Tange’s career, the book paints a picture of the progression of architecture and urbanism that took place in postwar Japan.

There is no question that Tange, who continued to work into his later years, and died in 2005, helped define Japan’s post-WWII emergence into modernism. The architect gained international attention as an urban planner in 1949 when his design for the Hiroshima Peace Center and Memorial Park was selected as part of the country’s plan to rebuild Hiroshima. Throughout the 1950s, Tange worked in the field of urban planning, his Plan for Tokyo 1960 reconsidered urban structures as Japan knew them, and was hugely influential to the Metabolist movement. For the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Tange designed the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, for which he won a Pritzker Prize; the citation describing the gymnasium as “among the most beautiful buildings of the twentieth century.”

Available at: Lars Müller

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