This elegantly sloping green-roofed center was recently proposed as an extension to the recreational grounds at Kyoai Gukuen University in Japan. Rather than replace the open space with a standard building, Japanese firm Bakoko worked with architect Hikaru Hattori to design an elevated green roof that keeps the open space while providing spectator seating for a nearby playing field. Daylighting, natural ventilation, and the insulating benefits of the green roof make the project a beautiful example of energy-efficient architecture.
Bakoko’s design for Kyoai Gukuen University aims to eliminate the loss of important recreational space on the university campus by lifting the green space up and creating a building below to support it. Adjacent to the site is a sports field, which has no spectator seating, so the green roof is slanted towards the playing field to provide a viewing area. This double-duty proposal adds extra value to the building, provides spectator seating, and retains the site’s open green space.
The university building is consists of a series of vaulted concrete arches, some of which feature openings that capture sunlight and wind using a specialized cap. These “wind catcher” caps filter sunlight down into the space below and draw in fresh cool air. The columns of the arches seem thick, but in fact they are hollow at the top in order to minimize material use and provide a deeper well for the green roof. These water-tight depressions have enough soil to support larger species of trees and vegetation than are typically possible on green roofs.