Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower 30.01.09

words Anna Bates

Another Tokyo skyscraper, but this one comes with a surprise - it's a school. Three schools, in fact.

Designed by local architect Tange Associates, the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower has schools for fashion, IT and medicine spread over its 50 floors. Teetering on the edge of Nishi-Shinjuku, Tokyo's high-rise business centre, the students will study among the action to "create, grow and transform," says the architect, although no doubt the students will also spend a considerable amount of time staring out of the window.

Within the building, the idea was to create "schoolyard-like spaces". Each floor of the tower is divided into three segments; three classrooms are arranged around the core, and between each classroom is a three-storey student lounge where students can socialise or do their homework.

Tange Associates also saw the project as an opportunity to re-energise an area of land spanning from Tokyo's busiest train station to the city's business district - at present occupied by a surprising number of obsolete buildings. The architects hope the school will create a gateway between these two points.

www.tangeweb.com

top image The stairway. The building has 50 levels and is 203.65m high

image The view from Shinjuku station

image The south entrance

image View from the bottom up

image The three-storey high student lounge

image One of the classrooms

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