Nikken Sekkei Ltd. - Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium

Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium

Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda

WASEDA UNIVERSITY HONJO SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASIUM

Nikken Sekkei

ARCHITECTS
Nikken Sekkei

PHOTOGRAPHS
Gankosha, Harunori Noda

AREA
4466 m²

LOCATION
Honjo, Japan

CLIENT
Waseda University

SITE AREA
63,000 m²

YEAR
2020

TOTAL FOOR AREA
4,466 m²

MAXIMUM HEIGHT
18.55 meters

CATAGORY
Gymnasium, High School

CONSTRUCTIONS
Toda Corporation

As this is a gymnasium of a high school affiliated with a leading private university in Japan, its design concept flows from how it should be portrayed as an educational facility.

Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda
Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda

With this project, however, the aim was to create a gym allowing indirect natural light suitable for indoor exercises and blocking strong direct sunlight to afford a feel for the outside environment.

To achieve this goal, four structural “tubes” were designed around the perimeter of the arena.Access is possible through hatches built into the walls.

Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda
Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda

These tubes have an important role to play in the operation of the facility, as they house air conditioning, lighting, and sound equipment.

The outermost tube is the most spacious, and functions as a corridor, an indoor running track, and a passageway for indirect light to pass through to the arena.

With small and large holes bored into the walls of the arena at strategic locations, natural daylight that penetrates the arena core is pale and dim, akin to the midnight sun.

Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda
Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda

This orientation obviates the need for blackout curtains. The facility’s interior and exterior were both finished in fair-faced concrete.

The structural layout is akin to a temple; the intent of the spatial configuration was to create a place where users can learn the “essence” of things.The building is completely devoid of added color or paint, both inside and out; “primitive” grey concrete is its only signature.

Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda
Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda

Rather, it might be more correct to say that one does not “feel” its color in the traditional sense. Instead, the space allows a sensitivity for light, materials, and a grasp of more a natural essence. This pursuit of “simple beauty” is divorced from secular worldly trends.

Generally speaking, gym windows are covered with blackout curtains when competitions are held. Ornamentation was kept to a minimum to clarify the composition of the building.

Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda
Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda

The gymnasium is designed to be an extension of every day; as students ascend the floors, their experience becomes gradually more extraordinary.

However, the design intent is not that every day is “inverted” into the extraordinary, but rather into a more common, “every day” experience.

Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda
Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
© Gankosha, Harunori Noda

When designing this gymnasium, our thoughts were on the idea of architectural expression that can be modern, but also “universal” in the sense that it can belong to any era.


Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
Plans & Section
Waseda University Honjo Senior High School Gymnasium
Axonometry

Nikken Sekkei Ltd.
T +81 3 52263030 F +81 3 52263052
Nikken Sekkei Ltd.
2-18-3 Iidabashi, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan