315. Kenzo Tange /// Tange House /// Seijo, Tokyo, Japan /// 1951-1953

OfHouses presents “Pritzkers’ First Houses, part IV”:
Kenzo Tange (Pritzker 1987) was the most important Japanese architect in the 20th Century.
The only house he designed was his family’s residence in Seijo. Tange elegantly managed to reconcile here the Western modernism with the Japanese tradition and is no wonder that Kazuo Shinohara, the other grandmaster of Japanese architecture, took the Tange House as the main reference for his first project (the House in Kugayama, 1954).
(Photos: Ezra Stoller/ESTO.)


The Royal State Palace in Jeddah by Kenzo Tange in 1980. It was built to house diplomatic guest. As a representative to the kingdom, it uses classic Islamic concepts and shows the beauty and grandeur of Arab hospitality. It is centered around a large courtyard with marble fountains. The floors and walls are clad in travertine and marble. In addition, the exterior is clad in white granite.


Kenzo Tange, Yoyogi National Indoor Stadiums, (1961-1964)

Built for the Tokyo Summer Games in 1964, the complex consists of two indoor arenas connected by a central spine that also houses ancillary and office functions. Structural design was handled by Tsuboi Yoshikatsu and his associate Kawaguchi Mamoru, but Tange’s team participated extensively in a joint design process. The basic structure for both buildings relied on cable suspension technology developed for bridges, but as an architectural project, the challenge was to  create interior enclosures under the span. The urban aspects of Yoyogi Stadiums deserve as much notice as the project’s obvious formal virtuosity. One of the last large undeveloped tracts in central Tokyo, the stadium area was conceived as part of a ring of major open spaces in the cities dense center. The site plan extends beyond the stadium site’s boundry in the northeast corner to include a traffic intersection, a signifigant urban intervention to bring together the dense fabric of upper Shibuya and new large-scale institutional facilities such as the local ward office, the headquarters of Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NKH), and the stadiums themselves. The two spiraling tails of the stadium site provide further linkage from the upper Shibuya area to Harajuku and Meiji Shrine.