Kenzo Tange
Name: Kenzo Tange
Occupation: Architect
Gender: Male
Birth Day: September 4, 1913
Death Date: Mar 22, 2005 (age 91)
Age: Aged 91
Country: Japan
Zodiac Sign: Virgo

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Kenzo Tange

Kenzo Tange was born on September 4, 1913 in Japan (91 years old). Kenzo Tange is an Architect, zodiac sign: Virgo. Nationality: Japan. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.


He won the design competition for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in 1949.

Net Worth 2020

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Does Kenzo Tange Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Kenzo Tange died on Mar 22, 2005 (age 91).


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Before Fame

He was inspired to become an architect after poring over drawings for the Palace of the Soviets. He attended the University of Tokyo, where he was taught by Hideto Kishida and Shozo Uchida.


Biography Timeline


Born on 4 September 1913 in Osaka, Japan, Tange spent his early life in the Chinese cities of Hankow and Shanghai; he and his family returned to Japan after learning of the death of one of his uncles. In contrast to the green lawns and red bricks in their Shanghai abode, the Tange family took up residence in a thatched roof farmhouse in Imabari on the island of Shikoku.


Tange's first placing in the design competition for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park gained him recognition from Kunio Maekawa. The elder architect invited Tange to attend the Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM). Founded in 1928 this organization of planners and architects had initially promoted architecture in economic and social context, but at its fourth meeting in 1933 (under the direction of Le Corbusier) it debated the notion of the "Functional City". This led to a series of proposals on urban planning known as "The Athens Charter". By the 1951 CIAM meeting that was held in Hoddesdon, England, to which Tange was invited, the Athens Charter came under debate by younger members of the group (including Tange) who found the Charter too vague in relation to city expansion. The "Athens Charter" promoted the idea that a city gains character from its continual changes over many years; this notion was written before the advent of mass bombings and the Second World War and therefore held little meaning for Tange who had evidenced the destruction of Hiroshima. The discussions at Hoddesdon sowed discontent within CIAM that eventually contributed to its breakup after their Dubrovnik meeting in 1956; the younger members of CIAM formed a splinter group known as Team X, which Tange later joined. Tange presented various designs to Team X in their meetings. At a 1959 meeting in Otterlo, Holland, one of his presentations included an unrealised project by Kiyonori Kikutake; this project became the basis of the Metabolist Movement.


After finishing middle school, Tange moved to Hiroshima in 1930 to attend high school. It was here that he first encountered the works of Swiss modernist, Le Corbusier. His discovery of the drawings of the Palace of the Soviets in a foreign art journal convinced him to become an architect. Although he graduated from high school, Tange's poor results in mathematics and physics meant that he had to pass entrance exams to qualify for admission to the prestigious universities. He spent two years doing so and during that time, he read extensively about western philosophy. Tange also enrolled in the film division at Nihon University's art department to dodge Japan's drafting of young men to its military and seldom attended classes.


In 1935 Tange began the tertiary studies he desired at University of Tokyo's architecture department. He studied under Hideto Kishida and Shozo Uchida. Although Tange was fascinated by the photographs of Katsura villa that sat on Kishida's desk, his work was inspired by Le Corbusier. His graduation project was a seventeen-hectare (42-acre) development set in Tokyo's Hibiya Park.


After graduating from the university, Tange started to work as an architect at the office of Kunio Maekawa. During his employment, he travelled to Manchuria, participating in an architectural design competition for a bank, and toured Japanese-occupied Jehol on his return. When the Second World War started, he left Maekawa to rejoin the University of Tokyo as a postgraduate student. He developed an interest in urban design, and referencing only the resources available in the university library, he embarked on a study of Greek and Roman marketplaces. In 1942, Tange entered a competition for the design of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere Memorial Hall. He was awarded first prize for a design that would have been situated at the base of Mount Fuji; the hall he conceived was a fusion of Shinto shrine architecture and the plaza on Capitoline Hill in Rome. The design was not realised.


In 1946, Tange became an assistant professor at the university and opened Tange Laboratory. In 1963, he was promoted to professor of the Department of Urban Engineering. His students included Sachio Otani, Kisho Kurokawa, Arata Isozaki, Hajime Yatsuka and Fumihiko Maki.


The Hiroshima authorities took advice about the city's reconstruction from foreign consultants, and in 1947 Tam Deling, an American park planner, suggested they build a Peace Memorial and preserve buildings situated near ground zero, that point directly below the explosion of the atomic bomb. In 1949 the authorities enacted the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Reconstruction Act, which gave the city access to special grant aid, and in August 1949, an international competition was announced for the design of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.


Work on the Peace Center commenced in 1950. In addition to the axial nature of the design, the layout is similar to Tange's early competition arrangement for the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere Memorial Hall.


Tange's own home, designed in 1951 and completed in 1953, uses a similar skeleton structure raised off the ground as the Hiroshima Peace Museum; however, it is fused with a more traditional Japanese design that uses timber and paper. The house is based on the traditional Japanese module of the tatami mat, with the largest rooms designed to have flexibility so that they can be separated into three smaller rooms by fusuma sliding doors. The facade is designed with a rhythmic pattern; it comprises two types of facade designs ("a" and "b") that are ordered laterally in an a-b-a-a-b-a arrangement. The house is topped with a two-tier roof. Kazuo Shinohara's 1954 house at Kugayama is remarkably similar in its design, although it is built with steel and has a simpler rhythm in its facade.

Tange's inspiration for his design office came from his friend Walter Gropius who he had first met at the CIAM meeting in 1951. While lecturing at the Bauhaus, Gropius had placed great importance on teaching architects, especially imparting on them the concept of working together as a team. The Urbanists and Architects Team was founded in 1961 and became Kenzō Tange Associates. Tange promoted a very flat hierarchy in the practice: partners were equal in importance and were encouraged to participate in every project. Multiple options were developed simultaneously, and research on individual schemes was encouraged.


In 1953 Tange and the architectural journalist and critic Noboru Kawazoe were invited to attend the reconstruction of the Ise Shrine. The shrine has been reconstructed every 20 years and in 1953 it was the 59th iteration. Normally the reconstruction process was a very closed affair but this time the ceremony was opened to architects and journalists to document the event. The ceremony coincided with the end of the American Occupation and it seemed to symbolise a new start in Japanese architecture. In 1965 when Tange and Kawazoe published the book Ise: Prototype of Japanese Architecture, he likened the building to a modernist structure: an honest expression of materials, a functional design and prefabricated elements.


The Kagawa Prefectural Government Hall on the island of Shikoku was completed in 1958. Its expressive construction could be likened to the Daibutsu style seen at the Tōdai-ji in Nara. The columns on the elevation bore only vertical loads so Tange was able to design them to be thin, maximising the surfaces for glazing. Although the hall has been called one of his finest projects, it drew criticism at the time of its construction for relying too heavily on tradition.

The fortress-like town hall in Kurashiki was designed in 1958 and completed in 1960. When it was constructed it was situated on the edge of the old town centre connecting it with the newer areas of the town. Kurashiki is better known as a tourist spot for its old Machiya style houses.


Tange had left the Team X Otterlo conference early to take up a tenure at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His experiences at the conference may have led him to set his fifth year students a project to design a 25-thousand-person residential community to be erected in Boston over the bay. The scheme comprised two giant A-frame structures that resembled Tange's competition entry for the World Health Organisation's headquarters on Lake Geneva. Both this scheme and the earlier ones by Kikutake formed the basis of Tange's speech to the Tokyo World Design Conference in 1960. In his speech he used words such as "cell" and "metabolism" in relation to urban design. The Metabolist movement grew out of discussions with other members of the conference. Amongst them were Kisho Kurokawa, Junzo Sakakura, Alison and Peter Smithson, Louis Kahn, Jean Prouvé, B. V. Doshi and Jacob Bakema. The conference ended with Tange's presentation of the Boston plan and his own scheme, "The Tokyo Plan – 1960".


The Yoyogi National Gymnasium is situated in an open area in Yoyogi Park on an adjacent axis to the Meiji Shrine. The gymnasium and swimming pool were designed by Tange for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, which were the first Olympics held in Asia. Tange began his designs in 1961 and the plans were approved by the Ministry of Education in January 1963. The buildings were placed to optimize space available for parking and to permit the smoothest transition of incoming and outgoing people.


In an interview with Jeremy Melvin at the Royal Academy of Arts, Kengo Kuma explained that, at the age of ten, he was inspired to become an architect after seeing Tange's Olympic arenas, which were constructed in 1964.


In 1965 the Bureau International des Expositions decided that Japan should host the 1970 Exposition. 3.3 square kilometres (1.3 sq mi) of land in the Senri Hills near Osaka were put aside for its use. Tange and Uzo Nishiyama were appointed as planners for the masterplan by the Theme Committee. Tange assembled a group of twelve architects to design the infrastructure and facilities for the Expo.

In 1965 Tange was asked by the United Nations to enter a limited competition for the redevelopment of Skopje, which was at that time a city of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The town had been heavily destroyed by an earthquake in 1963. Tange won 60% of the prize; the other 40% was awarded to the Yugoslav team. Tange's design furthered ideas put forward in the earlier "Tokyo Plan".


Tange further developed his ideas for expandable urban forms in 1966 when he designed the Yamanashi Broadcasting and Press Centre in Kōfu. It was designed for three media companies: a newspaper printing plant, a radio station and a television studio. To allow for future expansion Tange grouped the similar functions of three offices together in three zones. The newspaper printing machinery was on the ground floor, sealed studios on the upper floors and offices on glass walled floors surrounded by balconies. The services, including stairs and lifts, are housed in 16 reinforced concrete columns that are of five-metre (17 ft) diameter. Space was left between the cluster of functional space to allow for future expansion, although these have been used for gardens and terraces.


The Centro Direzionale (Naples) is a service center in Naples, Italy. The district is mainly devoted to business. The project of the Centro Direzionale dates back to 1964. It was designed in 1982 by Tange. The layout includes 18 blocks of buildings, with high-rises up to 100 meters. There are office buildings as well as residential flats. The Center is meant to accommodate most, if not all, of the administrative offices of the city of Naples, such as the new Hall of Justice. It also includes a pedestrian zone at ground level with shops, restaurants and hotels. There is an underground parking facility with escalators running up into the middle of the large pedestrian concourse, an area adorned with fountains, benches, greenery and a church. The Centro Direzionale is home to the tallest building in southern Italy, the Telecom Italia Tower.


During the 1970s and 1980s Tange expanded his portfolio to include buildings in over 20 countries around the world. In 1985, at the behest of Jacques Chirac, the mayor of Paris at that time, Tange proposed a master plan for a plaza at Place d'Italie that would interconnect the city along an east-west axis.

Tange's son Paul Noritaka Tange graduated from Harvard University in 1985 and went on to join Kenzō Tange Associates. He became the president of Kenzo Tange Associates in 1997 before founding Tange Associates in 2002.


For the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which opened in 1991, Tange designed a large civic centre with a plaza dominated by two skyscrapers. These house the administration offices whilst a smaller seven-storey building contains assembly facilities. In his design of 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.


The Supreme Court of Pakistan Building is the official and principal workplace of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, located in 44000 Constitution Avenue Islamabad, Pakistan. Completed in 1993, it is flanked by the Prime Minister's Secretariat to the south and President's House and the Parliament Building to the north.


Tange continued to practice until three years before his death in 2005. He disliked postmodernism in the 1980s and considered this style of architecture to be only "transitional architectural expressions". His funeral was held in one of his works, the Tokyo Cathedral.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Kenzo Tange is 108 years, 4 months and 22 days old. Kenzo Tange will celebrate 109th birthday on a Sunday 4th of September 2022.

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