Abstract: The historic building cluster located at Tongji University’s Siping Road Campus of Tongji University, which makes up a former Japanese school, was bestowed the Shanghai Outstanding Modern Architecture accolade by the Shanghai municipal government in 2005. The badminton gymnasium of this school was designed by renowned Japanese modernist architect Kikuji Ishimoto in 1942. He was a leading member of the Secessionist Architects Organization and studied at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar with Master Gropius. Against the backdrop of World War II, he executed the concept of the gymnasium by carrying the potential of the wood structure into modernism.
This paper attempts to interpret the impact on architecture that the history of the campus has had, and with due diligence, also points out that in the 1990s, Japanese schools were demolished in large numbers in Shanghai due to rapid urban development, so only a few are still completely preserved. The badminton gymnasium is one such that falls within this narrow category of salvage, but has, unfortunately, long lacked attention. It is a large-span timber building which crosses cultural and temporal boundaries, providing further evidence on the practice of early Japanese modernist architects in China. Adding to that, it must also be noted that the badminton gymnasium is not an isolated structure, but part of the former Japanese secondary school. Its site has an important symbolic position that has been, regrettably, neglected in the evolution of urban space in Shanghai.