Hitachi City Hidaka Elementary School is located in Hitachi City, where Hitachi, one of the world's top 500 companies, was founded. As a renovation project for the school building, we defined the design concept of the school as "a school that nurtures children's future dreams".
The existing school building is located on the south side of the site, and the playground is on the north side. The challenges were to keep classes at the existing school in session while constructing the new building and give careful consideration to the residents of the neighboring area on the north side. In addition, use of the pool and gymnasium had to remain unencumbered.
The school building was arranged in a rectangular shape, with the length running north to south along the existing playground. From roughly east to west, it is elongated. The land that the rectangular school building itself occupies is small. Moreover, there are advantages to the short internal movement distance and the small size of the outer wall. This creates classrooms on the opposite side, that do not face the south side, where it becomes necessary to devise ways to ensure natural lighting and ventilation. We solved the drawbacks, such as the increase in heat load in summer on the south side of the classrooms and the direct sunlight in winter, and ensured lighting ventilation with two courtyards and implemented a rectangular school building.
In principle, the structure is composed of a curtain wall and deck. The wall of flat pillars contains an earthquake-resistant wall and the deck of flat beams contains voided slabs. The wall that runs through the outer peripheral surface is an independent curtain wall that gives an unobstructed line of sight to the courtyard. The structure forms the framework of the building with the expression of intent kept to a minimum.