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Zen and sensibility

The Japanese are known to be sensible, simple and minimalist. These characteristics are epitomized in their famous Zen philosophy which also promotes relaxation ways to cope with the rigors of daily living.

No wonder many designers, building and home owners adopt the Zen philosophy in their edifices and homes respectively. Moreover, Zen also spells success as personified by multi-titled NBA Coach Phil Jackson.

Architect Paul Noritaka Tange talks about the notable projects of his firm, Tange Associates and their collaboration with Federal Land

Just like Jackson, Federal Land Inc. is also adopting the Zen philosophy to its Midori Grand Hotel Ortigas project. It is logical for Federal Land to bring Zen because it will not only bring success to the organization but also deliver a serene atmosphere to neutralize the hustle and bustle of the city right in the heart of Metro Manila.

World famous Tokyo-based architecture firm Tange Associates will be project’s design consultant with GF & Partners Architects as Architect-of-Record, to add local perspective to the project.

Tange Associates Chairman Paul Noritaka Tange, son of iconic Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, told participants in a recent webinar that he is carrying the torch for his late father in interpreting Japanese style into architecture.

Tange stressed the Zen style does not promote flamboyance. “It’s not ‘me-me’ structures that want to stand out in an environment,” he said.

“We want our buildings to be part of the landscape. Subtleness and simplicity are basic to Japanese architecture. And it’s not dependent on scale—wherever you are, you feel the scale is right,” he added.

Tange and Associates made a name for integrating traditional Japanese artistry with modern perspectives. Their notable projects include Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Yoyogi Gymnasium, and The Grand Midori Makati. Interestingly, Kenzo Tange and Paul also designed venues of Tokyo Olympics’ swimming and diving events in the two editions of the Tokyo Olympics—1964 and 2020 respectively. Kenzo completed the Yoyogi National Stadium in 1964 while Paul designed the Tokyo Aquatics Centre for the recently held 2020 games. “The 1964 Olympic Games was a memorable event because it was the coming out of Japan after the war,”Tange pointed out.

Aside from promoting the Zen philosophy in architecture, Tange also underscored the promotion in the construction of structures. Sustainability became an important part of his advocacy when he observed that structures in the 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics became white elephants.

Being a sensible architect, Tange values the importance of going green. For him the winning formula is combining sustainability and the Japanese concept of Zen.

Tange said his advocacy also aims to promote Japanese culture that hopefully will appeal to the human heart. “It wants to create space for the human being manifested by the spacious living rooms and large windows,” he said.

In the forum, Tange urged architects and architectural students to think out of the box in response to the current environment, “The pandemic made us realize we have to rethink,” Tange pointed out.

“Architecture will definitely have an impact in today’s world. Architects have to move and allow the environment to be destroyed. We have to adjust and contribute in this undertaking,” Tange added.

Color it green

The two-tower Midori Grand Hotel Ortigas project will have over 908 housing units and the first salvo of Federal Land in the heart of Ortigas Central Business District. Moreover, the Zen philosophy will be infused with Japanese aesthetics, technology, and innovation in the building’s architecture.

The Japanese concepts of “wabi-sabi” and “miyabi,” which focus “on the discovery of beauty in imperfections and the expression of elegance and refinement” are the things definitely needed to be experienced by residents. Midori, which means green, will definitely have a green surroundings highlighted by the color of fresh shoots, new leaves, and young plants.

Situated in a 5,090-sq-m prime property, the Grand Midori Ortigas will be generous to residents as far as designing their unit is concerned to suit their needs. It has a mix offering of studio (35.5 to 38 sq m), one bedroom (46 to 64 sq m), two bedroom (70 to 107 sq m), and three bedroom (105 to 109 sq m) variations, designed with airy and light-filled interiors as well as expansive windows.

Further, it also offers a Zen-inspired indoor and outdoor amenities for social, fitness, and recreational activities. Each amenity caters to every resident’s needs. Its prime indoor amenities include a lounge area, fitness area, yoga room, game room, study lounge, conference room, children’s playroom, and a multipurpose room. It also boasts of outdoor amenities perfect for people with an active lifestyle. These include a lap pool, Jacuzzi, children’s pool, pool lounge, children’s play area, Zen garden, and a landscaped area with lounge.


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