Kengo Kuma Designed Wooden Stepped Garden in the Sloped Roof of This Student Exchange Hub in Tokyo

Kengo Kuma Designed Wooden Stepped Garden in the Sloped Roof of This Student Exchange Hub in Tokyo

Christened the Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza, this building in Tokyo shows the impressive wooden strip-like steps containing greenery and bleachers for students. Lined with sloping roofs, this series of wooden steps allow one to sit and relax on the roof. Designed by Japanese studio Kengo Kuma and Associates, the new Tokyo Institute of Technology spans a 4,879-square-metre area and serves as a hub to support student interaction, incorporating spaces for co-learning, workshops and support services. read more about the project below at SURFACES REPORTER (SR):

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Student Exchange Hub in TokyoThe Building is Partly Under Ground

The building encompasses three storeys- two underground and three above the ground. 

Student Exchange Hub in TokyoPositioned at the main entrance to the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), the studio allows students activity. Overlooking the iconic clocktower, the building which sits partly submerged below ground is considered to become a campus landmark.  

The plan to submerge most of the building part below ground was to retain a clear vista of the campus clock tower.

Student Exchange Hub in TokyoThe clock tower is the oldest building in Tokyo Tech and is a true symbol of the campus," Meijo explained. "The visibility of this clock tower is defined as important in the campus masterplan."

However, the maximum part of the building is situated below the ground, wrapped by the wooden bleachers that flow over it and seamlessly merge with the surrounding landscape. The other visible parts of the structure above ground are kept minimal with a white-painted and a glazed finish.  

The Stepped Roof- Focal Point

The stepped roof of the building is its center of attraction, which is covered with planters and bleachers that harmonise well the green slanted wall of the adjoining library. All these green spaces make a green valley for the campus students.  

Student Exchange Hub in Tokyo"The idea was to make the building look like a landform in order to harmonise it with the slopes scattered around the campus and the surrounding buildings," Meijo told Dezeen.

Also Read: Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma Designed Cross Laminated Timber Pavilion And Park In Tokyo

Stepped Staircase Blurs The Boundaries Between Outdoors and Indoors

Access to the roof is provided through a staircase that connects the bottom and upper levels of the building. The ascending staircase leads up to a small terrace on the structure's first floor. the parts of the roof that are inaccessible are covered with plants and greenery.

Student Exchange Hub in TokyoAccording to the studio, the plants complement the greenery outside the neighbourhood building called Library Hill.

Pared-Back Material Palette

Kengo Kuma & Associates used a pared-back material palette inside the building.

Student Exchange Hub in TokyoThe combination of white interiors with timber flooring and stairs offers a timeless appeal to it. Student Exchange Hub in TokyoThe exterior stairway that comes down into the structure is also emulated inside, assisting in blurring the boundary between the outside and inside.

Project Details

Project Name: Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza
Architecture: Kengo Kuma & Associates 
Location: Tokyo Institute Of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
Project Team: Toshiki Meijo, Keita Watanabe, Kosuke Tanaka, Shiho Yoo, Fumiya Kaneko
Structure Design: Kanebako Structural Engineers
MEP / Facility Design: Ptmorimura & Associates, Ltd
Construction: Kajima Corporation, Daiei Denki, Hibiya Engineering
Built Area: 4,880 Square Meters
Source: Kengo Kuma and Associates

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