The oldest school building in Japan gets a stunning makeover, courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates. Dating back to simpler and rather modest times, the school was founded in 1924 and was severely low on resources at that time. So much that they would hold their classes in a rented room at YMCA. With only one teacher among 6 students, there wasn’t much scope for progress back in the day.
But the swooping difference Kengo Kuma has made is striking indeed. The new building is covered by folding wood panel facades that add to its charm and give it a modern spin. Consolidated with planters, the tilting wood panels create a fascinating look. The building is large enough to now accommodate students from 54 different nationalities and is now the proud employer of 100 teachers from across 15 countries. Talk about monumental improvements! Literally!
Kengo Kuma and Associates vision for the school as “a soft, human-scal3 wooden house” is certainly manifested in the finished project. It embodies the wooden character that they wished to instill in the architecture and the facades wrapped around it is the main reason behind it.
They took care of even the minutest details of the school. The terrace of the school, which is often overlooked in commercial buildings, has been converted into a Japanese-style garden. It’s been created to, and we quote, ” embody the school’s respect for diversity and Japanese culture.”
This project by Kengo Kuma and Associates is a perfect blend of vision and a humble drive to make a positive impact in society, using sustainable building materials. They have truly outdone themselves with this one!