Tokai Uni to rebuild modernist building on Yoyogi Campus

Tokai University is in the process of planning a redevelopment of their Yoyogi Campus in Shibuya’s Tomigaya neighborhood. The project may include the reconstruction of the No. 2 campus building – a cross-shaped modernist building that was designed by architect Mamoru Yamada and completed in 1958. Yamada was one of the pioneer’s of Japan’s modernist movement and a professor at Tokai University’s engineering department.

Since the late 1800s, school buildings in Japan followed an almost uniform layout with classrooms on the sunny south side of a building and hallways on the northern side. Yamada’s design was quite novel, with an emphasis placed on views and air circulation. In 1963, Yamada went on to design the school building for Tokai’s Shonan Campus in southern Kanagawa Prefecture. The campus building followed a similar design, with three prongs instead of four, and was selected by DOCOMOMO as one of the 135 Modernist Movement Buildings of Japan.

The Yoyogi Campus buildings 1, 2, 3 and 4 were all built between 1955 and 1960, and before the current zoning regulations were introduced. This means that the buildings do not meet current usage, height, size and sunshine restrictions that would apply if they were to be rebuilt on this lot.

In early March, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Shibuya Ward approved a town planning change that covers a 20.1 hectare area in Tomigaya 2 Chome and Uehara 2 Chome. Within the Yoyogi Campus, the zoning has been changed from a Category I Exclusively Low-Rise Residential Zone to a Category I Mid/High-Rise Oriented Residential Zone that allows universities and has less strict height restrictions.

The campus covers a 1.1 hectare site in a low-rise and quiet residential neighborhood.

Source: The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun, March 16, 2018.