AKA: inariyama special education school
original content
jul 26, 2011
AKA: inariyama special education school

‘inariyama special education school’ by atsushi kitagawara architects in chikuma, nagano, japan
all images courtesy atsushi kitagawara architects
image © hiroyuki kurashima

‘inariyama special education school’ by japanese practice atsushi kitagawara architects (AKA)
is a 15, 000 m2 educational facility composed of multiple building units in chikuma, nagano, japan.
conceived as a ‘town’-like architecture, the design combines outdoor courtyards, open spaces,
and small vegetable fields in its composition to stimulate activities for both the children and
the local community.

fly-by view

image © takumi ota

utilizing traditional japanese wood construction technique, the school is almost entirely made of
lumber from the nagano prefecture. the general form and roof shape of the buildings feature large
intersecting pitches that can be clearly read from the outside. abstract, branch-like structures clad in
a shade of yellow highlight the construction of the school while lending the buildings a distinct
visual identity within the area.

exterior view
image © takumi ota

utilizing neither metallic materials or glued-laminated timber, the structural components of
the school makes transparent its wooden construction by having it the focal point of the interior space.
interweaving lumber units provide a rhythmic effect to the ceiling with the majority of the finished
surfaces also being done in larch. the choice of local materials coupled with the construction technique
kept both the energy consumption and CO2 exhaust during the manufacturing process to a minimum. 

facade element
image © takumi ota

image © takumi ota

sheltered drop-off zone

image © hiroyuki kurashima

image © takumi ota

roof structure

image © takumi ota

class room

image © takumi ota

indoor gymnasium
image © hiroyuki kurashima

outdoor space

image © takumi ota

night view
image © takumi ota

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