Thursday September 26th, 2013

Low-tech stadium space can prove just as striking as the flashiness we’ve grown accustomed to, especially if constructed in the meticulous tradition of Japanese wooden lattice assembly (try finding that style in North America).

For two new venues on the west Tokyo campus of Kogakuin University, Katsuya Fukushima and Hiro Tominaga of FT Architects borrowed from designs of old, constructing intricate perpendicular structures entirely from locally sourced timber. They have built in a basic, yet exacting nuts-and-bolts style both a boxing club and archery hall.

“Here, timber, a historical material, has been reanalyzed and transformed into a new building material,” the pair says. “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.”

The column-free competition halls employ wooden pieces normally reserved for furniture making.

“Due to the scale of the space and simplicity of construction, the execution had to be meticulous.” Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.

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