An elegant open-plan school beneath a sawtooth roof has been built in a Japanese village to designs by Richard Rogers Partnership
“Students and teachers spend a large part of each day in school, so the building is designed to resemble a large house,” says Ben Warner, head of Rogers’ Tokyo office. A simple post-and-beam structure planned around an 8 m2 grid offers a range of flexible spaces. As in a traditional Japanese house, internal partitions can be slid back, enabling pairs of classrooms to be combined.
The school is sited on the brow of a hill with views over the Minami-Yamashiro village below. A high level of daylighting is provided by the sawtooth roof and glazed walls. The neighbouring pavilion contains a swimming pool and gymnasium.
The Minami-Yamashiro Elementary School was built on a relatively low budget using straightforward, durable, low-maintenance materials, including fairface reinforced concrete and stainless steel roofing.
Architect Richard Rogers Partnership Structural engineer Umezawa Structural Engineers Services engineers Media Creations, Setsubi-Sekkei 21 Landscape architect Equipe Espace Main contractor Asanuma Corporation