It's not easy to create an organic, wholesome environment in a city that is as dense as Tokyo- unless of course you're Kengo Kuma. One of the most recognized architects in Japan, Kuma clad the sprawling Teikyo University Elementary School with heat-treated cedar to help distinguish it from a suite of unsightly apartment buildings nearby. Hit the jump to find out how that massive roof contributes to the project's overall eco sensibility.
The roof covers the entire length of the Teikyo University Elementary School, which has three storeys and a total footprint of 7,788 square meters. A heat collecting device placed on the south-facing section of the roof circulates solar gain, which pushes through floor vents to keep the facility warm during winter. The roof also has a rainwater harvesting system.
Clad in heat-treated cedar that is expected to ensure the timber’s longevity, the school is designed to look like twelve different terraced houses. In part this is achieved with different kinds of linings, including siding work, louvers and Yamato-bari (wood panels arranged with its side slightly layered onto the next one), according to the architects.
A giant bulletin board inside is made with recycled materials and an atrium connects the three levels. Open, breezy and yet private, this gorgeous school creates a lovely atmosphere conducive to learning despite the hustle and bustle of urban life outside.