October 13, 2021

Acclaimed architect Paul Tange on the problem faced in his industry, and a tour of his recent project in the Philippines

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There is great uncertainty even in architecture
A NEW LEGEND IS BORN Paul Tange, chairman and principal architect of Tange Associates

 

“The pandemic has changed our environment, the way we work, and live. It negated everything. Our lifestyle altered,” stressed the chairman of Tange Associates Paul Noritaka Tange, in our tête–à–tête a couple of hours before his educational design forum last month. One might say that we are at the mercy of COVID-19, but Paul along with other Filipino architects has set out to find design solutions catered to address the challenges of the times.

First, more on Paul. Some know him as the son of architecture legend Kenzo Tange, one of the most significant architects of the 20th century famous for designing the Yoyogi National Gymnasium for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and for winning the 1987 Pritzker Prize. But Paul is beyond his lineage. A Harvard graduate, he is the head of the world-renowned architectural firm Tange Associates. As if a family tradition, Paul too has designed a Tokyo Olympic venue, particularly the Tokyo Aquatics Center for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. That is just one of the many landmark buildings he and his multi-awarded company have worked on—around 400 projects in 35 countries.

“Our [Tange Associates] architecture is not about making buildings, but creating spaces for people to gather. We create gathering places. And since we cannot gather because of the pandemic, we have to reinvent the way we design,” says Paul. “I do not have an answer [to designing a COVID-proof facility], but that’s why we have forums like this. We need to have discussions.”

Read more: Manila Bulletin