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Kenzo Tange: The Latest Architecture and News

Tokyo Architecture City Guide: 30 Iconic Buildings to Visit in Japan's Capital City

One of the world's leading metropolises, Tokyo is home to extraordinary architecture that fascinates through its blend of traditional values and high-tech expression. The 1923 earthquake and the bombardments of World War II dramatically influenced the image of the city and its architecture, giving rise to modern urban environments with complex infrastructure.

The Japanese capital constitutes the most populated metropolitan area in the world, housing 33 million inhabitants. Divided into 23 wards and numerous neighbourhoods, the city features a diverse blend of atmospheres and urban fabrics that support an amalgamation of architectural typologies.

© Keishin Horikoshi / SS Tokyo© Ken’ichi Suzuki. ImageThe Ariake Gymnastics Centre by Nikken Sekkei + Shimizu Corporation© Nacása & Partners Inc.. ImageMiyashita Park by Nikken Sekkei© Kawasumi Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office. ImageTokyo Institute of Technology Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza by Kengo Kuma & Associates+ 30

Who Has Won the Pritzker Prize?

The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).

"I Am Always Inside the Architecture that I Design": In Conversation with Toyo Ito

Examining the work of Tokyo architect Toyo Ito (b. 1941) – particularly his now seminal Sendai Mediatheque (1995-2001), Serpentine Gallery (London, 2002, with Cecil Balmond), TOD's Omotesando Building (Tokyo, 2004), Tama Art University Library (Tokyo, 2007), and National Taichung Theater (2009-16) – will immediately become apparent these buildings’ structural innovations and spatial, non-hierarchical organizations. Although these structures all seem to be quite diverse, there is one unifying theme – the architect’s consistent commitment to erasing fixed boundaries between inside and outside and relaxing spatial divisions between various programs within. There is continuity in how these buildings are explored. They are conceived as systems rather than objects and they never really end; one could imagine their formations and patterns to continue to evolve and expand pretty much endlessly.

Tod's Omotesando Building_interior. Image © Nacasa & PartnersSilver Hut. Image Courtesy of Toyo Ito & Associates, ArchitectsSendai Mediatheque. Image Courtesy of Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects'Minna no Mori' Gifu Media Cosmos. Image © Kai Nakamura+ 13

Spotlight: Kenzō Tange

As one of the eldest in a long line of architects that have made Japan one of the most revered countries in architecture, Pritzker-Prize winning architect Kenzō Tange (4 September 1913 – 22 March 2005) helped define Japan’s post-WWII emergence into Modernism. Though he was trained as an architect, Tange was equally as influential as an urban planner giving him significant influence in Japan and around the world at both large and small scales.

Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium. Image © Tange AssociatesYoyogi National Gymnasium. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/kanegen/3076874395/'>Flickr user kanegan</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shizuoka_Press_and_Broadcasting_Center._Ginza,_Tokyo..jpg'>Wikimedia user Jonathan Savoie</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a>Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/iqremix/16797848464/'>Flickr user iqremix</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>+ 13

Kenzo Tange Gymnasium and 7 Other Threatened Sites Receive $1M in Preservation Funding

Eight sites from the World Monuments Fund’s 2018 World Monuments Watch list have been awarded $1 million in funding from American Express to support much-needed preservation and restoration initiatives. The sites were selected based on their vulnerability to specific threats like natural disasters, climate change or social forces like urbanization that have left them neglected.

2018 World Monuments Watch Lists 50 Cultural Sites at Risk from Human and Natural Threats

The World Monuments Fund has announced their 2018 World Monuments Watch, highlighting 25 cultural sites from across the globe currently at risk due to economic, political or natural threats. Covering more than 30 countries and territories, these monuments represent sites of exceptional cultural value dating from prehistory to the 20th century.

Iraq, Al-Hadba’ Minaret. The al-Hadba’ Minaret, seen from the mosque before its destruction, 2009. Mosab Mohammed Jaseem/World Monuments FundJapan, Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium. The Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium, seen from the southwest, was designed to evoke the form of a traditional Japanese wooden barge, 2014. Noriyuki Kawanishi/World Monuments FundChile, Ramal Talca-Constitución. Four historic railbuses run on the Talca-Constitución narrow-gage line, 2006. Erick Cespedes/ Wikimedia Commons/ World Monuments FundUnited States, Buffalo Central Terminal. The Buffalo Central Terminal complex includes an iconic Art Deco office tower, 2017. Joe Casico/World Monuments Fund+ 29

How to Pronounce the Names of 22 Notable Architects

There’s no doubt that one of the best things about architecture is its universality. Wherever you come from, whatever you do, however you speak, architecture has somehow touched your life. However, when one unexpectedly has to pronounce a foreign architect’s name... things can get a little tricky. This is especially the case when mispronunciation could end up making you look less knowledgeable than you really are. (If you're really unlucky, it could end up making you look stupid in front of your children and the whole world.)

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 22 architects with names that are a little difficult to pronounce, and paired them with a recording in which their names are said impeccably. Listen and repeat as many times as it takes to get it right, and you’ll be prepared for any intellectual architectural conversation that comes your way. 

"Baby Rems" and the Small World of Architecture Internships

The world of architecture is small. So small in fact, that Rem Koolhaas has been credited with the creation of over forty practices worldwide, led by the likes of Zaha Hadid and Bjarke Ingels. Dubbed “Baby Rems” by Metropolis Magazine, this Koolhaas effect is hardly an isolated pattern, with manifestations far beyond the walls of OMA. The phenomenon has dominated the world of architecture, assisted by the prevalence and increasing necessity of internships for burgeoning architects.

In a recent article for Curbed, Patrick Sisson dug into the storied history of internships to uncover some unexpected connections between the world's most prolific architects. With the help of Sisson's list, we've compiled a record of the humble beginnings of the household names of architecture. Where did Frank Gehry get his start? Find out after the break.

Renzo Piano's pavilion at Louis Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum. Image © Robert LaprelleJeanne Gang worked on OMA's Maison Bordeaux. Image © Hans Werlemann, courtesy OMAMies van der Rohe worked on Behren's AEG Turbine Factory. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>. Image © Flickr CC user JosephThe Guaranty Building in Buffalo, New York by Louis Sullivan. Image Courtesy of Jack E. Boucher+ 8

"Classic Japan" Episode 1: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange

From Tokyo-based French architect and film maker Vincent Hecht comes "Classic Japan," a series of short films focussed on Japanese architecture from between the 1950s and 80s.

The first installment takes viewers into Kenzo Tange's 1964 Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Shibuya, built to house the swimming and diving events of the 1964 Summer Olympics. Completed in less than two years and seating upwards of 15,000 spectators, the Gymnasium is renowned for its suspension roof, and will host the handball competitions during Tokyo's 2020 Summer Olympics.

Video: Wang Shu, “Geometry and Narrative of Natural Form”

Founder of Amateur Architecture Studio and Head of Architecture at the China Academy of Art, Wang Shu was the first Chinese architect to hold Harvards Graduate School of Design (GSD) Kenzo Tange professorship. The Harvard lecture honors architect Kenzo Tange by bringing distinguished architects from around the globe to the GSD.