To the Successors of Spiritual Values
Saitama Prefectural Martial Arts Center
Saitama, Japan
architecture by MHS Planners, Architect & Engineers
construction completed in 2003

2006 IIDA / Section Award
Saitama Prefectural Martial Arts Center
photo © Yuichi HIGURASHI
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Saitama Prefectural Martial Arts Center

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The new building of Saitama Martial Arts Center is composed of the main hall, a gymnasium, an archery site and a sumo wrestling hall. Those main components are attached with the entrance hall, a courtyard, corridors and an athletes' lounge. We took part in the project as a total planner of the center's lighting environment. One of the features of this architecture is wooden latticework supporting the roof. Some of the halls, namely the 49m x 62m main hall and the 24m x 46m gymnasium, are too large in its scale that even though lights achieve enough brightness on the floor, the beautiful structure on the ceiling would be vague in dark. The solution was reflective lighting onto the structure, which enhanced the spaces with dynamic attractiveness so that they could be used in other purposes, such as a music concert. Lighting in the courtyard and corridors are intentionally controled low in its brightness. People can calm down when coming out from the hall after watching exciting matches.

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