MANILA — Renowned Japanese architect Paul Noritaka Tange publicly acknowledged the talents of Filipino architects and students, saying in jest that he needs to make sure he is always “creative enough” to compete with them.
The chairman and principal architect of Tange Associates made the statement after working with Filipinos for Federal Land’s Grand Midori Ortigas condominium project.
He also cited his experience as a jury member for an Asian competition for student designers.
“I am very scared because they are very talented,” he said in jest during a webinar organized by Federal Land. “I had a great working relationship and it was a great journey going through the project.”
The son of 1987 Pritzker Laureate Kenzo Tange also noted that Filipinos are “very fortunate in the educational system” for architecture in the country, and also pointed out their English-speaking skills as another advantage.
“The Philippines has a great potential and the architecture is very much advanced,” he said.
“I’m half-joking and half-serious, I have to watch out and make sure that I am creative enough to compete with all the very talented Filipinos.”
Founded by his father, Tange Associates is known for projects such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and Yoyogi Gymnasium.
The younger Tange designed the Tokyo Aquatics Centre for the recently held 2020 Olympic Games.
The Japanese architectural firm’s project with Federal Land is Grand Midori Ortigas, a two-tower condominium that incorporates lush greenery, light-filled interiors, and weave patterns.
When asked what makes the Japanese aesthetic adaptable to other cultures such as the Philippines, Tange replied: “It’s the simplicity and subtleness. It’s all about engaging environments.”
“We want the building to be part of the landscape, the cityscape… So it’s not offensive, and it gives us the right scale,” he explained.
As to how he thinks architecture and design will move forward given the pandemic, Tange mentioned the importance of creating spaces where people will be “happy and comfortable.”
“We don’t know what to design anymore,” he admitted, speaking on behalf of architects. “Do we need an office? Do we need a hotel?”
“The residence is changing its functionality. For children, it is a school. For us, it’s a work space and, of course, a family space. So the room has to transform itself,” he said.
“We have to think out of the box, in a sense, that we cannot have typical thinking of houses and offices.”
Read more: ABS-CBN News