Sporty Construction Set

Sporty Construction Set

Archery Hall and Boxing Club

Katsuya Fukushima and Hiroko Tominaga respond to the demands of a thrifty client with two equally simple and wonderful buildings.

Apparently, universities are always short of money. So they economize wherever they can. In Germany, universities usually economize on professorships, full-time positions, or the humanities. Elsewhere, they economize on new buildings. And so does the Kogakuin University in Tokyo. There, Katsuya Fukushima and Hiroko Tominaga of FT Architects were supposed to build two new, preferably cheap buildings – a new archery (kyudo, Japanese archery) hall and a boxing club – using locally produced wood. But this economic factor was not the only challenge. Another demand of the client was to create a free space – which meant no columns – of 7,2 m by 10,8 m within each building. In combination, not an easy task. The solution is both materially and constructively pretty inventive.

IKEA Framework

After some research in cooperation with timber experts, Fukushima and Tominaga opted for timber material that was actually never meant to be used in buildings. For the archery hall, they used small timber sections that were actually reserved for furniture making. For the boxing club, they chose timber members deemed defected because of insect damage.

What the two architects did in the end with this material is even more curios than the material itself – and just great: these small wooden sections – which already derived from timber stocks meant for furniture – were ultimately also assembled like IKEA furniture – with bolts and nuts. Even the construction details for these individual units read like the assembly instructions of the Swedish furniture store.


Another component of the design is a return to the traditional Japanese timber composition – a construction method that has been largely disregarded in contemporary Japanese architecture. The traditional timber architecture is characterized by simple verticals and horizontals. Fukushima and Tominaga chose a different wood thickness for each building to reflect the character of their respective sport. Therefore, the airiness, the meditative and grace of archery is reflected in the archery hall by a delicate latticework, while the crude spirit of boxing reveals itself in a massive stepped frame in the boxing club. Both structures stick to the brief by doing without any columns.


Both buildings are, in their simple geometry and wooden appearance, aesthetically appealing. Although they resemble each other in their material, structure and floor plan, they very sensitively reflect the entirely different character of their respective use, at the same time. While the box club appears as if it could handle a bunch of heavy blows, a meditative calmness surrounds the archery hall – designed for the perfect shot.

Project details


FT Architects


completion: 2013


total floor area: archery hall: 106 m²; boxing club: 92,75 m²


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ElmaSherry's picture
ElmaSherry 22. January 2015 - 7:33

Can i imagine it "Mega structure" ? well it is !! very well designed, great teams work !! Leon Kennedy Jacket

prabirbanik82's picture
prabirbanik82 21. April 2015 - 11:38

Nice article.

valyspin's picture
valyspin 25. November 2015 - 10:27

These constructions are a great example how the technology and human labor combine together to create the most amazing, accessible and comfort buildings. But, if someone wants to obtain quality results, he should hire only professional builders, who have a valid contractor licensing. No one needs amateurs to fulfil such sophisticated construction projects.