Design: An Elegant Sweep Toward Heaven

Japan's modernist master architect wins the coveted Pritzker Prize

As the work of young Japanese architects acquires cachet and stirs interest around the world, it is fitting that the elder statesman of Japanese design, Kenzo Tange, 73, should become the first of his countrymen to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The $100,000 award, announced last week, went to one of the most important modernists of his generation, a master builder who can point to a body of work that is large, far-flung and confident. Tange was a committed and conscientious designer in the International Style during its heyday, a modernist who resisted the easiest answers of modernism during his prime.