Ibaraki City’s Otemon Gakuin University is not just a campus for higher learning, it was also designed to become a neighbourhood landmark and community gathering area for residents who live near the university.
Conceptualised by Tokyo-headquartered service architectural firm Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei, the project was led by Yasuhiro Sube and his colleague Keisuke Aneha.
“Our task was to convince stakeholders that the campus could serve the community at all times, and as architects, we also had to think about how to design a learning site that would inspire students to make that trip to campus,” says Sube.
“Since ancient times, Japan’s shrines and temples have drawn pilgrims from all corners of the country, so these sacred sites turn into lively gathering places. This was the concept that informed our vision for the new campus,”
Named Academic-Ark, the campus has a total floor area of 20,409m2, and contains classrooms, a library, cultural hall, studio and cafeteria that can accommodate approximately 3,600 students.
Though the results are remarkable, the project was quite a challenge for the architects.
They had just 29 months to see the project through from the design to construction phases, which is about twothirds the duration allocated as a timeline for such a large project.
Their construction budget was also about two-thirds of what was typical.
In addition, conservation regulations required that the building site be excavated prior to construction to search for historical artifacts, as there are many ancient ruins buried around the site.
“We came up with the idea of minimising the area that had to be excavated by using a triangular shape, and by cantilevering each corner of the triangle, which made the footprint smaller. This significantly reduced construction time and cost,” reveals Sube.
The triangular footprint was also effective in encouraging all the excitement and energy of the university’s academic activities to converge within a single space.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
THE OUTRAM COMMUNITY HOSPITAL SERVES AS THE SINGAPORE GENERAL HOSPITAL CAMPUS’ REHABILITATION FACILITY AND MAIN LOGISTICS HUB.
SENSITIVE AND RESPECTFUL EXTENSIONS BY OFYK ARCHITECTS ALLOW OLD AND NEW STRUCTURES TO COEXIST HARMONIOUSLY IN THIS BUNGALOW THAT HOUSES A MULTI-GENERATION FAMILY.
Flowers In The Mansion
Suzhou’s traditional Chinese Manor house and its well-known gardens guided the interior concept of the New Park Hyatt Suzhou.
Set within the Chao Phraya estate, Capella Bangkok is a destination-inspired hotel and Urban Oasis that showcases the collaborative effort of architecture firm hamiltons international and interior design practice bamo.
Equity By Design
GDP Architects’ new AICB building balances the complexities of need, function and context in a multi-faceted institutional training centre.
Burst Of Energy
A metaphor for Shenzhen’s innovative design spirit, the iadc design museum in guangdong, china is literally breaking out of the box.
Defining Singapore Design
We get insights from a group of Singaporeans, creatives and business leaders.
The More We Get Together
Placemaking efforts in Singapore have gained momentum in the last 10 years and the covid-19 pandemic is serving to accelerate it and highlight its role in connecting various communities.
Let There Be Light
This three-storey house by ming architects features a series of staggered voids without compromising on spatial efficiency.
Chris Lee - The Hospitality Designer
Chris Lee, founder and creative director of asylum, is helping hotels engage the local community and be more than just solely the domain of tourists.