ARCHITECTS | 丹下健三 Kenzo Tange :: The Japanese Maestro + The Tokyo Olympics

丹下健三 Kenzo Tange | 4 September 1914 – 22 March 2005

丹下健三

As a child, images of Kenzo Tange’s buildings for the 1964  Olympic Games captivated me. These were the first games in Asia and a remarkable signifier of Japan’s rise from the ashes of defeat after its fifteen-year “Sacred War.”

The organic forms of Tange’s swimming pool and judo halls entranced me for hours and I was always thrilled when I came across a never-before seen image of Tange’s one undisputed masterpiece.

Years later, living in Tokyo, I stood in amazement of  its timelessness.

Tange’s Yoyogi Sports Complex is near the top of my”top ten” list of favourite buildings from the last century.

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It’s funny how we get blasé. I always make a pilgrimage to Meiji-jingu when I return to Tokyo. It’s right next door to Tange’s Olympic swimming pool and judo hall.

But now that I’ve seen it so many times, I rarely stop and really inspect the details of this magnificent piece of architecture like I did during that first pilgrimage in 1993.

 

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During our last trip back to Tokyo, however, we came across some intriguing “Tokyo through the years posters” printed on mesh fabric at the shrine’s rest area.

Seeing the superb graphic design of the original 1964 posters moved me to get up close to Tange’s masterpiece once again on our way out of the shrine.

Tange’s Olympic installation is a remarkable technical achievement. Its sinuous lines are sexy and intriguing. She beguiles us.

Some of the photos below are from an exhibit at the Edo-Tokyo Museum — a “must see” if you’re ever in Tokyo.

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THE MUST-SEE EDO-TOKYO MUSEUM

related posts - KENZO TANG

ARCHITECTS: THE VIEW FROM KENZO TANGE’S AKASAKA PRINCE HOTEL (1982)


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