Zen and architecture: Mindful of people, purpose of space

When Paul Noritaka Tange, chair of Japanese architecture firm Tange Associates, designed the shiny new Tokyo Aquatics Centre, he took inspiration from a variety of Japanese elements such as the roof motifs from native temples, the famous Arashiyama bamboo forest and even designs from origami, the ancient art of paper folding.

Incorporating Japanese culture to create modern structures is in Tange’s DNA. His late father, Kenzo Tange, who designed Yoyogi Gymnasium for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, took inspiration from the sloping curved roots of Japanese temples in creating the Olympic venue.
But when designing structures like the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Tange said his concepts are mindful of the activities and experiences that will take place in the spaces.

“You can feel the entire place in the aquatics center [because there are no] columns. Everybody shares one space, a united space,” Tange said during the “Japanese Architecture: The Synergy of Culture and Design” forum hosted by Federal Land.

The reason for this is that Tange knows that athletes feed from the energy of the audience, and the crowds on the sidelines find their energy from the Olympians.

 

Read more: Philippine Daily Inquirer Online