Recently completed Cocoon Tower makes education design as easy as A-B-C
Standing in Tokyo's distinctive high-rise district of Nishi-Shinjuku, Tange Associates' Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower stands as a symbol of innovation and exception in educational design. It is no wonder this awesome construction was recently awarded as Skyscraper of the Year by Emporis.
The 50 level building contains 3 different schools: Tokyo Mode Gakuen (fashion), HAL Tokyo (IT and digital contents) and Shuto Iko (medical treatments and care). Tange Associates advise: "The building’s innovative shape and cutting edge façade embodies our unique “Cocoon” concept. Embraced within this incubating form, students are inspired to create, grow and transform."
The vertical campus, which completed in October, can hold 10,000 students and incorporates a 3-storey high atrium to substitute as a 'schoolyard', called the 'Student Lounge' and multi-use corridors where communication can flourish.
The tower floor plan is simple. Three rectangular classroom areas rotate 120 degrees around the inner core. From the 1st floor to the 50th floor, these rectangular classroom areas are arranged in a curvilinear form. The inner core consists of an elevator, staircase and shaft. The Student Lounge is located between the classrooms and face three directions, east, southwest and northwest. Greenery planted at lower levels brings nature and softness to the design and its elliptical form swathed in an aluminium curtain wall creates a form pleasing to the eye from every level whilst minimising the building's footprint.
Tange Associates hope that the building will help to inspire a transformation in the area: "Some of the buildings in the immediate area surrounding Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower have become old and absolete. However this area is very important to connect Shinjuku Station and the Shinjuku CBD. Our aim is to use the building to revitalize and reenergize this area and to create a gateway between the Station and the CBD."
Niki May Young