british school to complete in tokyo this year


Heatherwick Studio has unveiled their design for The British School in Tokyo, marking the first school the practice has designed globally. This educational institution will be the largest international school located in the center of the city and will launch in August 2023 as part of the Azabudai Hills development.

heatherwick british school tokyoimages courtesy Heatherwick Studio | @officialheatherwickstudio



the design by heatherwick studio


Heatherwick Studio’s British School in Tokyo will span eight levels and cover an area of 15,000 square-meters. The building will host both outdoor learning and recreational areas, with trees and other natural elements integrated throughout. Once complete, it will accommodate more than eight hundred international students and offer a British educational curriculum. The project is commissioned by the Toranomon-Azabudai District Urban Redevelopment Association, with Mori Building Co., Ltd. and Japan Post Holdings as its main contributors.

heatherwick british school tokyo



Most inner-city schools don’t have enough playground space and the site was quite restricted,’ says Neil Hubbard, partner and Group Leader at Heatherwick Studio.So we wedged playgrounds between each of the classrooms, creating outdoor learning spaces where pupils can explore and interact with each other and their teachers much more freely than in traditional school environments.’


The brick spandrels nod to the materiality of the historic Azabudai post office and undulate to create open balconies and variety along the elevation. It’s a little bit playful, like a school should be.

heatherwick british school tokyo



a landscaped school in the city


In place of traditional rows of classrooms arranged vertically, outdoor spaces will be available for students and teachers to collaborate. Balconies tended to by the students, and terraces cascading down to offer views of the nearby landscape and central garden, will be part of the design.


Designing the plan of the British School in Tokyo, Heatherwick Studio capitalizes on the atmosphere of the area with a continuous transition from the inside to the exterior. Apart from the classrooms, the campus also features common areas for individual and collective learning, two libraries, a collection of music studios, an art studio, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) centrer, two sports fields, a dance studio, a sports hall, and an indoor swimming pool.

heatherwick studio’s first-ever school will take shape in tokyo with cascading terraces



This remarkable regeneration process has seen the Azabudai Hills development take a community-focused approach, culminating in the construction of a school as well as a six thousand square-meter central landscaped square and other podium architecture. The design of this new public district was conceived with the intention of engaging and fostering community spirit, with lush greenery and amazing social spaces for residents, businesses, school children and visitors to enjoy. An estimated twenty-five to thirty million people are projected to visit the area each year.

heatherwick studio’s first-ever school will take shape in tokyo with cascading terraces


project info:


project title: The British School in Tokyo

architecture: Heatherwick Studio | @officialheatherwickstudio

location: Tokyo, Japan

expected completion: August 2023