Sou Fujimoto designs pedestrian roof for Hida Takayama University

An accessible roof that curves to meet the ground will distinguish Hida Takayama University, which Japanese studio Sou Fujimoto Architects designs in Hida City, Japan.

The private university, which is slated to open in April 2024, is expected to be built on a rural site in the city in the mountainous Gifu Prefecture.

Aerial render of Hida Takayama University
Sou Fujimoto Architects designs Hida Takayama University in Japan

Sou Fujimoto Architects’ design includes two curved buildings that will be separated by a courtyard. The larger of the two structures will be topped by the accessible giant roof described by the studio as “an open hill”.

The university, which caters to postgraduates and working adults, will also have 11 other campuses across Japan.

Accessible roof rendering
The university will be topped with an accessible curved roof

According to Sou Fujimoto Architects, the design refers to the surrounding mountainous landscape and follows the concept of “opening to the afterlife”.

“Surrounded by beautiful mountains, the whole city of Hida is a great place of learning where people gather and chat,” said studio founder Sou Fujimoto.

The studio hopes the university will revitalize the rural site, whose population is shrinking, by drawing international attention.

“I would like to create a campus where students, faculty and locals can freely interact and connect with the world beyond,” said Fujimoto.

In the first visuals released by the studio, the undulating roof of Hida Takayama University is featured with a textured white finish. It is raised on wooden pillars visible inside the building and separated by high expanses of glass.

Interior rendering of Hida Takayama University
Hallways will be designed to double as usable spaces

Sou Fujimoto Architects will also design the campus so that all of its circulatory spaces and corridors also serve as a library or places of meeting and learning.

The courtyard that separates the campus will be planted with trees in an attempt to attract nature into the building.

A wavy white roof is also the focal point of the Hungarian Music House, which Sou Fujimoto Architects is currently developing for a leafy site in Budapest City Park. The roof will be pierced with nearly 100 holes through which trees will grow.

Hida Takayama University is not the first university building designed by the studio, which was founded by Fujimoto in 2000. Elsewhere, he designed the stacked learning center for the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, a library for Musashino Art University in Japan and a filled building tree for Paris-Saclay University in France.

The visuals are courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects.

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