This plan is for second stage construction continuing the Shitennoji Primary School and Shitennoji University Fujiidera Campus (first stage: completed 2009), which will add on a junior high and high school.
This school’s philosophy is the practical application of a unified primary, junior high, and high school that nurtures “strong, culturally accomplished new leaders for Japan,” based on the “spirit of reconciliation” of the school’s founder Prince Shotoku. As such, in the designs of the first stage construction, through accomplishing a functional and design-based integration with the first stage, opening the possibility of that practical application was sought above all else.
To that end, the succession-oriented operation policy of opening a high school to accommodate the junior high school students who would advance through the grades following the opening of the junior high, the coordination of level planning to accommodate a variable curriculum, and disaster safety measures applicable to the use of multiple facilities were among the various problems that were repeatedly subjected to close investigation and verification.
Especially regarding the design, harmonizing with the necessarily large volume associated with the many classrooms needed for a junior high and high school, and with the design of the first stage construction, which was determined by the precincts, and by scaled partitioning especially, was an unavoidable challenge. As a solution, the whole of second stage construction was divided into a lower level and an upper level. A plan was devised whereby a unified façade was ensured by faithfully following the design of the first stage on the lower level, while on the upper level the heavy appearance was alleviated through the use of a glass curtain wall on the retrograde wall surface. At the same time, this solution efficiently consolidated regular classrooms to the lower level and specialty classrooms to the upper level, effecting a clear spatial composition.
Regarding materials and color schemes, the methods of first stage construction were followed faithfully, with wood-based materials as a keynote and a themed color combination for each floor.
From the “Learning Plaza” area’s individual learning and the wide free spaces intended for collaborative work, to the large-scale astronomical observation dome installed on the roof, the daily sympathy with this architecture of places bearing the concrete fruits of various ideas like these provides a spirit of harmony. If this leads to the nurturing of strong students rich with leadership skills, there could be no greater feeling of joy as a designer.