Heatherwick Studio’s first-ever school will take shape in Tokyo with cascading terraces

British school due to graduate this year in Tokyo

Heatherwick Studio has revealed their design for the British School in Tokyo, which marks the first school to design the practice worldwide. The instructive Institution will be the largest international school in the city center and will open in August 2023 as part of the Azabudai Hills development.

Images courtesy of Heatherwick Studio | @officialheatherwickstudio

the design by Heatherwick Studio

Heatherwick Studio‘s British School in Tokyo will be spread over eight floors and occupy an area of ​​15,000 square meters. The building will house both learning and outdoor recreation areas, with trees and other natural elements incorporated throughout. When completed, it will host more than 800 international students and offer a British curriculum. The client of the project is Toranomon-Azabudai District Urban Redevelopment Association, with Mori Building Co., Ltd. and Japan Post Holdings as major contributors.

Heatherwick British School Tokyo

Most inner city schools do not have enough playground space and the terrain was quite limited,’ says Neil Hubbard, partner and group leader at Heatherwick Studio.So we wedged playgrounds between classrooms and created outdoor learning spaces where students can explore and interact with each other and their teachers much more freely than in traditional school environments.’

The brick spandrels refer to the materiality of Azabudai’s historic post office and undulate to create open balconies and diversion along the crest. It’s a bit playful like a school should be.

Heatherwick British School Tokyo

a landscaped school in the city

Instead of the traditional rows of classrooms arranged vertically, outdoor spaces will be available for student and teacher collaboration. Balconies tended by the students and terraces extending downwards offering views of the nearby countryside and central garden will be part of the design.

Heatherwick Studio designs the plan of the British School in Tokyo, taking advantage of the atmosphere of the area with a continuous transition from inside to outside. In addition to 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) center, two athletic fields, a dance studio, a gymnasium, and an indoor swimming pool .

Heatherwick Studio's first-ever school will take shape in Tokyo with cascading terraces

This remarkable regeneration process has led to the development of Azabudai Hills taking a community-oriented approach, culminating in the construction of a school, as well as a 6,000 square meter central landscaped plaza and other podium architecture. The design of this new public district was conceived with the intention of encouraging and encouraging the community spirit with lush greenery and amazing social spaces for residents, businesses, school children and visitors. An estimated 25 to 30 million people will 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 conclusion: Aug 2023

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