KUFS (Kyoto University of Foreign Studies) is located in the heart of Kyoto City (Intersection of Shijo-dori Street and Kadono Oji-dori Street) 10 minutes by car from JR Kyoto Station in the northwest direction. Mainly lecture-hall and auditorium, a total of 12 aging buildings are standing densely in the campus site with half of them do not meet current earthquake resistance standard in Japan. A proposal competition is held to reconstruct one of the oldest one, which is the Building No4.
Located in the center of the campus, reconstructing Building No4 has a great potential to revive the whole campus. Although any planning outside the building is not requested, we envision a long-span campus masterplan to rationally update other aging buildings and at the same time creating more activity flows among them. Careful observation and detail research is carried out by entering every single room available in the campus to study the behavior of students and teachers on how they spend their time in the university on different occasions.
As a result to the master planning and studies, a transparent “Learning Commons” space is placed on the ground level (1st floor + mezzanine) where activities are visible from all direction. Administration office including career center is lifted up onto the 2nd floor while a combination of classrooms and the FLAs (Flexible Learning Area) is distributed among 3rd to 5th floor. Class rooms of various sizes and several type of FLAs are intended to trigger spontaneous learning activities of the students where one or a group can choose his/her/their favorite space to study.
The project succeeded to enhance the vibrancy of the campus with the transparent learning spaces expanding from south to north connecting two beautiful gardens Katarai-no-niwa and Shizuka-na-niwa, which were totally isolated by the former No.4 building. Groups of student can be seen here and there forming a free learning field spreading widely with Building No.4 as its heart. We look forward to the evolution of the building to act as a Campus Hub to drive KUFS towards the future.