in the city of chiryu, japan, mount fuji architects has completed ‘chiryu after school’ — a complex for a teaching biology and science in english. as well as being a learning environment, a cafe with kitchen studio is open to local residents. based on such historical importance, a chiryu-based global robot manufacturing company decided to attain the piece of land and transform it for educational purposes.


image © mount fuji architects studio

 

 

in the region there are many shrines and temples with layouts that follow a low-eaved gate facing the street, an outdoor area which also works as a public space, and a larger-eaved main building at the rear. responding to this vernacular configuration, the gate part of the chiryu afterschool hosts a cafe and a staff room, while a hall extends to the adjacent park and the large volume housing the classrooms in the rear.


image © mount fuji architects studio

 

 

the completed building by mount fuji architects studio fosters a calming atmosphere, influenced by the outwards view of the temples and shrines of old tokaido. meanwhile from the outside, the structure appears as a contemporary and geometric volume referencing the subject which is taught inside. when entering the interior, the sweeping ceiling of interlocking timber is the focus. this timber element uses red pine sticks to produce the gentle catenary curve that spans all the way through without the need of columns. a connection to the historical context was achieved by the delicately sweeping roof-line which is reminiscent to the temples in the neighborhood.


image © mitsumasa fujitsuka

 

 

‘to match the ambition, we built two pillars: one was to inherit historic context respecting the history of the site, while the other was to conform to the natural science on the ground of science experiment and robot technology background of the client.’ – mount fuji architects studio


image © mitsumasa fujitsuka


image © mount fuji architects studio


image © mitsumasa fujitsuka


image © mitsumasa fujitsuka


image © mitsumasa fujitsuka


image © mitsumasa fujitsuka


image © mitsumasa fujitsuka

 

 

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

 

name: chiryu afterschool
principal use: after school, local community center (cafe+hall)

site area: 997.76 sqm

building area: 536.80 sqm

total floor area: 744.70 sqm

number of storeys: 2
structure: steel frame, partly wood frame

design: 2014.6 – 2015.3

construction: 2015.6 – 2016.7

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