Elementary School Kumamoto, Japan

Kazuhiro Kojima – Kazuko Akamatsu

Asia Architecture Award 2016

First place- public

Firm: CAt Firm

Location: Japan

Team Members: Masato Araya, Structural Design Office Oak, Structural Design Engineer


Rather than over-determining the organization of the school, we aspired to design an accommodating and liberating space amongst the trees in a forest to nurture a healthy environment. Louis Kahn famously said that, “School began with a man under the tree, who did not know he was a teacher, discussing his realization with a few who did not know they were students.” In our project, we thought of this tree as the L-shaped wall. Each classroom would be structured by the placement of these walls, which would be distributed as ‘arbitrarily’ as possible while achieving the necessary spaces of the school. The seamless appearance of trees and walls makes possible the wide variety of activities of the school.

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