exposed flat timber slabs extend contemporary educational facility by NIKKEN SEKKEI

exposed flat timber slabs extend contemporary educational facility by NIKKEN SEKKEI

Nikken Sekkei expands educational facility using mass timber

 

Tokyo-based architectural, planning, and engineering firm NIKKEN SEKKEI constructs Showa Gakuin Elementary School West Wing, an expansion of an existing school in Ichikawa City, Japan. Attending to the protection of forest resources through a proper harvesting and planting cycle, Nikken Wood Lab, a department of Nikken Sekkei specializing in the research and development of wooden architecture, pursues sustainability and explores new possibilities for CLT as mass timber with the use of domestic wood. For the first time in Japan, a project utilizes two-way CLT flat slabs for the construction of a contemporary educational facility.

 

Located on a site featuring a two-kilometer stretch of cherry trees along the Mamagawa River, the project employs the two-way CLT flat slab method that requires no beams following urban planning regulations restricting building height and changes to the townscape. The construction allows for minimal floor-to-floor height and total building height while maintaining the same ceiling height as the existing school. The use of CLT reduces the weight of the structure and minimizes its load on the foundation.

 

The floor plan consists of regular classrooms on the south side and specialized study halls on the north side, using a simple 9-meter grid, a module of one regular classroom. The fittings are designed to fully open to the central activity plaza, forming an integrated and continuous space for class visits, open school events, and other occurrences.

exposed flat timber slabs extend contemporary educational facility by NIKKEN SEKKEI
all images by Gankohsha – Harunori Noda

 

 

exposed CLT slabs adorn the exterior and interior of the school

 

Exposed CLT is employed for the interior, generating an abstract composition of seamless continuity where the timber transcends the functions of the building, promoting students’ spontaneous creativity and spirit of exploration. Two layers of exterior eaves exhibit an expression of exposed timber base ends and shade, achieved through the detailed shifting of the top and bottom surfaces of the two-way CLT flat slab. Various parts of the building feature carefully designed CLT details with slits that create intricate light and shadow effects and emphasize the timber’s volumetry. The new building by NIKKEN SEKKEI design practice is filled with natural wood and aims to familiarize children with nature, stimulate their imagination, and educate them about forest resources and the global environment.

exposed flat timber slabs extend contemporary educational facility by NIKKEN SEKKEI
the project pursues sustainability and explores new possibilities for CLT as mass timber

 

 

wooden construction evokes awareness of forest resources

 

The diverse design approach promotes curiosity and awareness of forest resources and the environment, proposing an affordable scale of wooden construction. The building’s main parts, such as the wooden columns and beams, have a higher level of fire-resistance performance than legally required, with extra thickness that would prevent them from combusting in the event of a fire. This eliminates the need for compartment walls, providing a more flexible and expansive space where CLT is used as both the structural and interior material. The lean design, which fully exposes the structure and MEP, incorporates corridors and staircases designed to stimulate various activities and provide a space that encourages a sensory perception of the architectural process. Each element of the building is labeled with its species, origin of the wood, and equipment function to raise awareness of environmental and forestry issues. This environmentally conscious building contributes to the realization of carbon neutrality.

exposed flat timber slabs extend contemporary educational facility by NIKKEN SEKKEI
two-way CLT flat slabs are applied for the construction of a contemporary educational facility

showa-gakuin-nikken-sekkei-designboom-1800-3

exposed flat timber slabs extend contemporary educational facility by NIKKEN SEKKEI
exposed CLT slabs adorn both the exterior and interior of the school

exposed flat timber slabs extend contemporary educational facility by NIKKEN SEKKEI
timber materiality generates an abstract composition of seamless continuity throughout the building

exposed flat timber slabs extend contemporary educational facility by NIKKEN SEKKEI
exposed flat timber slabs extend contemporary educational facility by NIKKEN SEKKEI

showa-gakuin-nikken-sekkei-designboom-1800-2

exposed flat timber slabs extend contemporary educational facility by NIKKEN SEKKEI

 

 

project info:

 

name: Showa Gakuin Elementary School West Wing
designer: Nikken Sekkei Ltd | @nikkensekkei_global

location: Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan

photography: Gankohsha – Harunori Noda

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

KEEP UP WITH OUR DAILY AND WEEKLY NEWSLETTERS
suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom

ARCHITECTURE IN JAPAN (1487)

NIKKEN SEKKEI (20)

SCHOOL ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (686)

WOOD AND TIMBER ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (906)

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5