• Company Name MIKAMI Architects
  • Entry Name Hitachi City Nakazato Elementary and Junior High School
  • Category
    • Educational Buildings
  • Clients Hitachi City
  • Lead Designer Kazuhiko Mashiko
  • Design Team MIKAMI Architects
  • Completion Date March 31, 2022
  • Size 2,839.70㎡
  • Location 1953-1, Higashigoudo-cho, Hitachi City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
  • Photo Credit Kouji Horiuchi
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The wooden school building forms an arch along the Sato River In Hitachi City, facing the Pacific Ocean, there is the Nakazato district, a rather isolated area behind the mountains. This is the setting of Jirō Nitta's novel The High Chimney of a Town, which describes the pollution of a Hitachi copper mine. This school is unique. Currently, the separate elementary and junior high schools are merged. Students are recruited from all over the city. However, while the city of Hitachi has a population of over 170,000, the school is quite small, with only ten students per grade. The school building is designed to form a large arc along the Sato River at the southern end of the campus. The peripheral landscape of the arc, which can be seen from inside the school building, varies slightly from place to place. At the same time, the inner part of the back of the arc welcomes the children and embraces the community. The new school building is designed and constructed as a two-story building. The first floor houses a communication hall and other functional classrooms, while the second floor houses regular classrooms, allowing for independence and interaction between grades. We want this child-friendly school to take full advantage of the natural environment here and become a center of communication that animates the entire community. Nakazato Ward is an arm's length away from many mountains, and a crystal-clear stream flows nearby. You can see the colors of the various trees in the forest, hear the humming of the vegetation and the murmuring of the river, and feel the changing of the four seasons and the richness of nature. To bring these sensations into the school and to harmonize with the landscape, we decided to build the school out of wood.