Kagawa: ‘Boat Gymnasium’ by Tange to Be Demolished

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The former Kagawa Prefecture Gymnasium in Takamatsu

TAKAMATSU — The structure affectionally known as the “boat gymnasium,” designed by world-renowned architect Kenzo Tange (1913-2005), is expected to be demolished.

The former Kagawa Prefecture Gymnasium in Takamatsu and the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo both have similar design elements, such as wire-suspended roofs. The latter building is widely known for being one of Tange’s masterpieces.

The Kagawa gymnasium, which resembles a traditional Japanese ship, opened in 1964. It was shut in 2014 due to problems with its structure not being earthquake-resistant as well as its low ceilings, which made it unsuited for use in some sports competitions.

There have been persistent calls to preserve the gymnasium as a historical structure, and discussions about its future have gone on for over eight years.

As there were no ideas regarding new ways to make use of the building, the Kagawa prefectural government announced at the prefectural assembly on Feb. 7 that it would demolish the gymnasium, saying that public funds could not be spent simply to keep it in existence. Consideration is now being given to creating a record of the gymnasium, perhaps in video form.