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The Mode-Gakuen Spiral Towers: a New Twist on School Design
Posted By Daniel Flahiff On February 11, 2009 @ 5:00 am In Architecture | 2 Comments
Scholastic architecture doesn’t get much better than these stunning Mode-Gakuen Spiral Towers  in Nagoya, Japan. The shimmering towers corkscrew 36 stories [170 m] above the busy streets of Nagoya, Japan, and house educational facilities for three different disciplines in three tapered ‘wings’ – fashion design, computer programming and a medical support. Architectural group Nikken Sekkei  included a host of ecological features in the towers including a double-glassed air flow window system and a natural air ventilation  system.
Photo by Japan-Photo.de 
Building green can be a challenge in major metropolitan areas due to significant political, social and practical hurdles; the double-glassed ventilation system in the Spiral Towers  is certainly a step in the right direction. Though certainly not new, a typical double-glassed air flow system  significantly reduces heating and cooling loads by passing indoor/outdoor air (exhaust air/return air) between two panes of glass. The cavity between the panes typically includes blinds which can be shut according to heating/cooling requirements. It’s a system that has been hugely successful at significantly reducing heating and cooling loads in large buildings and one that continues to spread across the globe.
But how does it stay up? The Spiral Towers appear quite precarious from the street, but their basic structure is simple; a strong inner truss tube acts as a central pillar supporting the three, gently tapering wings. The truss tube is constructed of concrete-filled, steel tubular columns with structural braces affixed around the base and the entire structure is fitted with some of the most robust seismic engineering  in the region.
The Spiral Towers  are stunning, and the concept behind the design adds yet another layer of beauty. The twisting glass and steel spiral is meant to evoke, “the enthusiasm of students from three schools, twining and rising up to the sky then departing to the real world.” Students from the three schools: Nagoya Mode Gakuen  , HAL Nagoya  and Nagoya Isen  —are sure to benefit from the both the gorgeous design and the green measures that have gone into this great new building.
+ Nikken Sekkei 
Via World Architecture News 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/mode-gakuen-spiral-towers-by-nikken-sekkei/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/02/11/mode-gakuen-spiral-towers-by-nikken-sekkei/
 Mode-Gakuen Spiral Towers: http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11036
 Nikken Sekkei: http://www.nikken.co.jp/en/
 natural air ventilation: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/02/27/russia-tower-worlds-largest-naturally-ventilated-building/
 Japan-Photo.de: http://www.japan-photo.de/e-mo-j14-37.htm
 double-glassed air flow system: http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/pubs/cp/win1_e.html
 Nagoya Mode Gakuen: http://www.mode.ac.jp/lang/english.html
 HAL Nagoya: http://www.hal.ac.jp/lang/english.html
 Nagoya Isen: http://www.isen.ac.jp/nagoya/lang/english.html
 Robin White: http://www.outlookonjapan.com/index.php?showimage=7
 Tsutomu Hamada: http://www.trekearth.com/members/ttmhmd/
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