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  1. ArchDaily
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  3. Gymnasium
  4. Japan
  5. Kenzo Tange
  6. 1964
  7. AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange
AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange, © Flickr User: kanegen
© Flickr User: kanegen

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange © Flickr User: Jamie Barras © Flickr User: Jamie Barras © wikiarquitectura +13

From the architect. Built for the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, the Yoyogi National Gymnasium has become an architectural icon for its distinctive design.  Designed by one of Japan’s most famous modernist architects, Kenzo Tange, the gymnasium is a hybridization of western modernist aesthetics and traditional Japanese architecture.

© wikimedia commons
© wikimedia commons

Tange’s innovative structural design creates dramatic sweeping curves that appear to effortlessly drape from two large, central supporting cables. It’s dynamically suspended roof and rough materials form one of the most iconic building profiles in the world.

Sitting within one of the largest parks in the metropolitan region of Tokyo, Tange uses the context as a way in which to integrate his building into the landscape.  The subtle curves of the structural cables, the sweeping roof plane, and the curving concrete base seem to emerge from the site appearing  as one integrated entity.

© Flickr User: Jamie Barras
© Flickr User: Jamie Barras

The gymnasium is the larger of two arenas for the 1964 Summer Olympic Games both of which are designed by Tange and employ similar structural principles and aesthetics.  

site plan
site plan

The smaller pavilion which holds approximately 5,300 people is used for various small Olympic events, whereas the national gymnasium was designed to be occupied by 10,500 people primarily for the Olympic swimming and diving competitions.  However, it was able to be transformed into a space to accommodate for larger events such as basketball and ice hockey.

plan_02
plan_02

Influenced by Le Corbusier’s Philip’s Pavilion and Eero Saarinen’s hockey stadium at Yale University, Tange became intrigued with structure and its tensile and geometric potential.  Similar to Saarinen’s design for Yale’s hockey stadium, Tange employs a central structural spine from where the structure and roof originates.  Two large steel cables are supported between two structural towers in addition to being anchored into concrete supports on the ground.  The suspended cables form a tensile tent-like roofing structure; a series of pre-stressed cables are suspended off of the two main cables that drape toward the concrete structure that creates the base of the gymnasium as well as providing the necessary structure for the seating within the stadium.

section_01
section_01

The result is a symmetrical suspension structure that elegantly draping from the central structural spine.  It‘s flowing surfaces make the minimal surface structure appear as a fabric suspended by two simple supports that’s being pulled into tension by the landscape.  

axon_02
axon_02

The fusion of Japanese architectural aesthetic and western modernist design, the gymnasium’s structural system resembles a snails shell, but in a more contextual sense, the gymnasiums low profile and sweeping roof forms some semblance to that of an abstracted Japanese pagoda.

axon_01
axon_01

When the Yoyogi National Gymnasium was completed it was the largest suspended roof span in the world.  It’s dynamic form and structural expressionism has made the gymnasium one of Kenzo Tange’s most important works, as well as a progressive architectural icon.  Today, it is one of Tokyo’s most sought after tourist destinations, while continuing to be an international venue for sports and fashion.

"We Japanese architects, in our endeavours to resolve the problems facing modern Japan, have devoted a great deal of attention to the Japanese tradition, and have, in the end, arrived at the point which I have sought to elucidate for you. If, however, there can be detected a trace of tradition in my works or in those of my generation, then our creative powers have not been at their best, then we are still in the throes of evolving our creativity. I want, by all means, my buildings to be free of the label 'traditional.' –Kenzo Tange

© Flickr User: Jamie Barras
© Flickr User: Jamie Barras
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Andrew Kroll. "AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange" 15 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/109138/ad-classics-yoyogi-national-gymnasium-kenzo-tange/>
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36 Comments

Arc. elyaqub s guri · May 09, 2014

it is a very good and fascinating structure especially in architectural perception

Mohammad Mohammadhashem · September 13, 2012

where r u .... where am i !!!

Lao Y · April 11, 2012

RT @ArchDaily: More about the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in our previous feature http://t.co/xATr1voz

Iván Samuel Luz · April 11, 2012

Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange http://t.co/WtmgsFpZ

Jeff Smith · April 11, 2012

More about the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in our previous feature http://t.co/ObiUojg8

Mario Passariello · April 11, 2012

More about the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in our previous feature http://t.co/ObiUojg8

alejandro.molina · April 11, 2012

More about the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in our previous feature http://t.co/ObiUojg8

Japanese Design · April 11, 2012

Yoyogi National Gymnasium by Kenzo Tange: http://t.co/GdHmnNAX

pisey · February 08, 2012

His work is good Kenzo Tange.

pinky yadav · August 22, 2012 05:54 PM

all the works r good just like awesum.I would to like to thanks master kenzo Tange.

Bruno Bellomo · July 11, 2011

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange http://t.co/PGZOPep vía @archdaily

Franco Miotto · March 21, 2011

Kenzo sabe o que fazer no Japão. http://bit.ly/hdWTAz

shengdong ma · March 07, 2011

it is nice

dwell asia · February 17, 2011

RT @ChangChang84: Un classique de Kenzo Tange!
AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange http://www.archdaily.com/?p=10...

dwell asia · February 17, 2011

RT @hypersolo: AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange http://goo.gl/r3WzI

Liza · February 17, 2011

RT @urbain_: Deux envolées architecturales vers le ciel: Yoyogi National Gymnasium http://ow.ly/3Xmhc Ronchamp http://ow.ly/3XmhO #archi ...

URBAIN trop URBAIN · February 17, 2011

Deux envolées architecturales vers le ciel: Yoyogi National Gymnasium http://ow.ly/3Xmhc Ronchamp http://ow.ly/3XmhO #architecture

Elvis · February 16, 2011

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange http://goo.gl/r3WzI

Ychang Chao · February 16, 2011

Un classique de Kenzo Tange!
AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange http://www.archdaily.com/?p=10...

designrelated · February 16, 2011

Meyra: Yoyogi National Gymnasium http://bit.ly/gvSKKP

up_today_arch · February 16, 2011

One of things I should certanly visit...

Ayse Teke · February 16, 2011

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange http://tinyurl.com/5s3kru7

Greg Allegretti · February 16, 2011

Always so good to see work from Tange. Parts of the project for me recall Wright's Marin County center.

daqb design · February 16, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange http://archdai.ly/fh2JN1 #architecture

DEZIGN · February 16, 2011

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange: © Flickr User: kanegenBuilt for the 1964 Summer Olympic Ga... http://bit.ly/hThwh4

???? · February 16, 2011
vivipatriajaya · February 16, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange http://archdai.ly/fh2JN1 #architecture

Architekt R V Scholz · February 16, 2011

#Architekt #Calau AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange: © Flickr User: kan... http://bit.ly/gVIdi0 #in http://dy.cx/c03

dodo · February 16, 2011

I had the chance to see that building last year, absolutely amazing, but it would be great if you show us some original fotos, showing the swimming area and jump tower. I had also the luck to visit the smaller building, in my oppinion this is even more facinating.

arch_related · February 16, 2011

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange: © Flickr User: kanegenBuilt for the 1964 Summer Olympic Ga... http://bit.ly/hThwh4

Architecture+Molding · February 16, 2011

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange: Built for the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, t... http://bit.ly/hjHu7y

yuho shida · February 16, 2011

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange | ArchDaily http://t.co/gzjB0A1 via @archdaily

ArchitecturePassion · February 16, 2011

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange: © Flickr User: kanegenBuilt for the 1964 Summer Olym... http://tinyurl.com/4n5fpgw

Rajan Reddy · February 16, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange http://archdai.ly/fh2JN1 #architecture

architst · February 16, 2011

One of my most respected Master; KEnzo. The architecture of the gymnasium is one ground breaking engineering especially at the time it was build.

Barry Maguire · February 16, 2011

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange via ArchDaily - © Flickr User: kanegen Built for ... http://tinyurl.com/674u2qd

Erik Joya · February 16, 2011

AD Classics: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange: © Flickr User: kanegen Built for the… http://goo.gl/fb/7TElL

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