MODE GAKUEN Cocoon Tower Mode Gakuen University Architect: Tange Associates Location: Tokyo, Japan Completion: 2008 GFA: 3,500 m2 Photography: Koji Horiuchi
The winning design of an international design competition, the MODE GAKUEN Cocoon Tower is a beautiful skyscraper college campus that nurtures students before releasing them into society. As the second tallest educational building in the world, this two-hundred-and-four-metre-tall, fifty-storey building is a home to three educational institutions: Tokyo Mode Gakuen (Fashion Vocational School), HAL Tokyo (Special Technology and Design College) and Shuto Ikō (Medical College), and serves 10,000 students. Located in the Nishi-Shinjuku district, the heart of downtown Tokyo, this building succeeds in providing a spacious campus environment. The striking façade of the school resembles that of a cocoon, and captured the imagination of netizens across the world – even during its construction, many photographs of its development were posted on the Internet. The floor plan is circular, with three rectangular classrooms, each twenty-four metres wide, sitting around the inner core of the life shaft and stairwell. Three-storey-high student lounges are located between classrooms and offer sweeping views of the surrounding cityscape.
1. Upward view from the ground level south 2. South entrance 3. View from west exit of Shinjuku Station 1
Before selecting a design for its new Tokyo location, Mode Gakuen held a competition asking architects to submit design proposals for the building. The only condition was that the building could not be rectangular. Mode Gakuen received more than one hundred and fifty proposals by approximately fifty architects. The winning proposal was this cocoon-like structure designed by Tange Associates. According to Tange, the building's cocoon shape symbolises a building that nurtures the students inside. White aluminium and dark blue glass exterior form the structure’s curved shell, which is criss-crossed by a web of white diagonal lines earning it the name “Cocoon Tower”. A Tange Associates spokesperson stated that their aim was to use the building to revitalise the surrounding area and to create a gateway between the Shinjuku Station and the Shinjuku CBD. Built on the former site of the now demolished Asahi Mutual Life Insurance Company headquarters, construction of the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower began in May 2006 and was completed in October 2008. The tower is the second tallest educational building in the world (surpassed only by the main building of the Moscow State University) and is the seventeenth tallest building in Tokyo. The vertical campus can accommodate 10,000 students for the three vocational schools that occupy the building. Tokyo Mode Gakuen, for which the building is named after, is a fashion school. The other schools, HAL Tokyo and Shuto Ikō, are information technology and medical schools, respectively, that are operated by the Mode Gakuen University. Awards: Emporis Skyscraper Award, Skyscraper of the Year, 2008 2
Published on Mar 17, 2011
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