In the Japanese town of Chiba, Sugawaradaisuke has built a park-inspired workout facility dubbed the ‘Farm Station Gym.’ Completed in 2020, following the Covid-19 pandemic, the project responds to an overall increase in running and jogging activities in people’s hometowns as gyms and similar facilities were either closed down or restricted for use during the peak of the Coronavirus spread.
‘We, therefore, planned and developed this project to provide a local health hub where ‘my town is a gym’ by offering exercise opportunities to those who lack exercise, and for local runners to reinforce their aerobic exercise,’ comments the architectural studio.
To design the ‘Farm Station Gym,’ three companies joined forces to share their know-how in creating farms, sports facilities, and community-based spaces where humans and nature can coexist. The result is an affordable and ‘green’ workout hub ensuring a low risk of infection and where men and women of all ages can drop by to exercise.
all images © Daisuke Sugawara
In addition to planting and installing a large roof, the team at Sugawaradaisuke used wood for the entrance facade, benches, and other areas that people come into contact with, creating a biophilic atmosphere that heals not only the body but also the mind.
A steel structure defines the overall ‘Farm Station Gym,’ with a rooftop that floats broadly over the mixed-use green belt found in the town of Chiba. ‘Its design blends in with the townscape through the use of landscape colors and natural materials. This provides a comfortable exercise environment for users and a good landscape for the local residents,’ continues the architects.
‘Farm Station Gym’ in Chiba, Japan
While full-scale outdoor workout spaces like those in Venice Beach, USA, are not found in Japan, the country does host unstaffed gyms, including those open 24 hours a day. However, since this building connects to the individual home, no lockers or showers are required, therefore being less likely to have the problems inherent in unstaffed facilities and can be operated safely. Meanwhile, benches and planting around the perimeter provide new social spaces within the facility and the local community.
‘This project provides an inexpensive way to improve the community’s health physically and mentally regardless of age, sex, etc. and contributes to the local community by turning one’s entire town into a gym. Because there is concern that recent law reformation will reduce green spaces in favor of town development, we aim to reduce the initial cost of this project and make it a viable option for landowners who are worried about using agricultural lands as green space, thereby serving as a role-model in protecting the local economy, community and landscape,’ concludes Sugawaradaisuke.
a semi-outdoor gym that connects to the town
the gym is open to anyone and at any time
a biophilic design encouraging both mental and physical wellbeing
using vivid wooden tones across the gym
name: Farm Station Gym
location: Chiba, Japan
design period: 06.2019 – 01.2020
construction period: 11.2019 – 07.2020
architecture: Sugawaradaisuke Architects Inc.
lead architects: Daisuke Sugawara, Yuki Nakao
construction: JSC Corporation
photography: Daisuke Sugawara
a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.