Archery Hall and Boxing Club
by FT Architects

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Complex wooden lattices provide a stage set for archery competitions and boxing matches at this pair of university buildings in Tokyo by Japanese studio FT Architects (+ slideshow).

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

Located on the campus of Tokyo's Kogakuin University, the two structures are both dedicated to sporting activities and called for column-free spaces built from low-cost materials.

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

Katsuya Fukushima and Hiroko Tominaga of FT Architects used locally sourced timber for the construction of both buildings.

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

They said: "We have salvaged the purity of traditional Japanese timber composition, simply made up of horizontals and verticals, which has been somewhat disregarded ever since the advent of modernism in Japan."

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

"Small timber sections, normally reserved for furniture making, were chosen for the archery hall, and timber members deemed defected because of insect damage, for the boxing club," they added.

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

A simple bolt-and-nut assembly was used for both frameworks, but required meticulous accuracy to ensure that each grid is made up of only perpendicular elements.

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

Other projects by Tokyo studio FT Architects include a house pierced by eight concrete columns.

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

Another sports centre recently completed in Japan features an exposed timber frame and huge clerestory windows.

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

See more sports centres »
See more architecture in Japan »

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

Photography is by Shigeo Ogawa.

Here's some more information from FT Architects:


Archery Hall and Boxing Club, Kogakuin University, Tokyo

Structure & Space - medium-span, column-free

The project consists of two buildings, an archery hall and a boxing club, standing a few hundred metres apart on the grounds of Kogakuin University in west Tokyo.

The formal rituals of Kyudo (Japanese archery) and the very physical nature of boxing may appear worlds apart. However, surprisingly, the two built facilities share a number of commonalities.

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

The University's brief was for low-cost structures made of locally sourced timber to provide accessible and inspiring spaces for the students. By chance, both facilities called for a column-free space of 7.2m by 10.8m, a size that is comparable to a sacred hall in a traditional Japanese temple. In order to achieve this span, without columns and using low-cost methods of timber construction, it was necessary to come up with an innovative timber solution. We began the project by investigating a number of structural forms that would be appropriate for each sport.

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

Underlying Principles

Through collaborative exploration with timber experts, from researchers, manufacturers to suppliers, we derived at timber materials that are not commonly associated with structural or architectural usage. Small timber sections, normally reserved for furniture making, were chosen for the archery hall, and timber members deemed defected because of insect damage, for the boxing club.

We have salvaged the purity of traditional Japanese timber composition, simply made up of horizontals and verticals, which has been somewhat disregarded ever since the advent of modernism in Japan. Delicate lattice frame composed of slender ties beams and posts for the archery hall, and a bolder, stepped frame, was employed for the boxing club. Here, timber, a historical material, has been reanalysed and transformed into a new building material.

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

Contrast/Complement

The two structures have been constructed employing a simple, lo-tech method of bolt-and-nut assembly. However, due to the scale of the space and simplicity of construction, the execution had to be meticulous, in order to produce spaces that are out of the ordinary.

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

For each building, the main subject is the 7.2m x 10.8m space and the timber structure, merely its backdrop. The powerful presence of the timber structure emphasises the stark transparency of the void below. The whole is only achieved by the juxtaposition of these two contrasting and complementing qualities.

Departing from the same starting point, the two buildings have arrived at a shared architectural theme via two different structural and spatial solutions.

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects

Completion: 2013
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Principal use: archery hall (Japanese archery=Kyudo) and boxing club
Total floor area: archery hall 106.00 sqm, boxing club 92.75 sqm
Structure: wood
Architect: FT Architects/Katsuya Fukushima, Hiroko Tominaga

Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects
Site plan
Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects
Archery Hall plan and section - click for larger image
Archery Hall and Boxing Club by FT Architects
Boxing Club plan and section - click for larger image
  • mlk

    Amazing details/joints. Japan again.

  • Alex

    Nice. The Japanese know their wood. If I recall correctly, there is a collection of timber temples set among the woodland near the town of Ise in Japan. They are constructed without the use of screws, nails or any type of adhesive and are rebuilt every certain number of years. Absolutely magic.

    • ning

      It’s really a beautiful building. But when you look at the details, the joint is using screws instead of tenon. Of course it’s fast. But, a little bit of a pity.

  • Sam

    Kengo Kuma did a true Chidori pavilion, without the glue or nails, for those who like this.

  • that guy….

    Chaos and complexity, intricately positioned to form organisation.

  • oq

    Very graceful! I love it!