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Martial Arts Centre

4251 Moncton Street, Richmond, British Columbia, V7E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2003/05/26

Exterior of the Martial Arts Centre in Steveston, 2000; Julie MacDonald Heritage Consulting
front elevation
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Martial Arts Centre is a two storey building designed in the Japanese style and situated among traditional Japanese Gardens within Steveston Park.

Heritage Value

The Martial Arts Centre has been recognized as a social, cultural and spiritual centre for the Japanese community in Richmond.

Constructed in 1971 as a Centennial project, the Martial Arts Centre serves as a meeting place and recreational and cultural centre, as well as being the home of the Steveston Kendo Club, formed in 1934, and the first in Canada. The Club achieved a reputation for excellence until 1942 when it was disbanded and its participants relocated during the Japanese internment, in World War II. The Club was re-instated in 1958.

Set within a traditionally designed Japanese Garden, the Martial Arts Centre building was designed as a dojo house and is a fine example of an adaptation of a traditional Japanese pavilion to the North American context, illustrating Japanese design principles. Throughout its history, it has housed recreational clubs which continue to produce champion Kendo and Judo competitors.

Source: City of Richmond Clerk's Department File #4200-02.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements of the Martial Arts Centre include:
- Architectural features that exemplify the Japanese building style and materials, including a balanced and symmetrical front facade, the sweeping profile of the wood shingle roof, the prominent ridge line of the roof, the combination of wood and stucco building cladding, and the decorative cross-bracing on the front facade
- The clearly defined front entry with a walkway which cuts through the centre of the front facade
- The scale of the building in relation to the surrounding formal landscape
- The relationship of the building to the site and the street
- Landscape features based on traditional Japanese garden style, including gradually revealed views, borrowed scenery, change of viewpoint, and the use of light, continuity, balance and scale achieved with the groupings of rocks, plants and trees
- Landscape elements such as the dry stream and pond, the placement of rocks and stones, the use of the contrasting foliage of coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs, the use of ground cover, and the subtle use of flowering shrubs
- A sense of enclosure created by the courtyard and the building and the illusion of distance revealed by the careful manipulation of foreground, middle ground and background



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

Function - Category and Type



Sports Facility or Site

Architect / Designer

Amulf H. Petzold


Dewey DeVries Construction

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Richmond Clerk's Department File #4200-02. See also: City of Richmond Archives.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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