Tokyo Tech News

Landmark exchange hub to rise on Ookayama Campus in 2020


Published: March 15, 2018

Tokyo Tech has decided on the construction of Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza (hereafter Taki Plaza), an international exchange hub in the heart of Ookayama Campus. Building of the 5,000 m2, 4-floor landmark designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates will begin just inside the main gate of the campus in 2018. Doors are expected to open in October 2020.

Taki Plaza exterior after completion. Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates

Taki Plaza exterior after completion
Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates

A student-centered "space to connect"

Aiming to create a space where campus-goers spontaneously connect, Tokyo Tech surveyed students on their future vision of the Institute, and carried out a worldwide inquiry on international exchange and student support. As a result, the concept for the building was born: "A space where international and Japanese students connect, deepen ties, and create the future together." The building's name, Taki Plaza, encapsulates a concept of openness while celebrating the facility's main contributor, Tokyo Tech alumnus Hisao Taki, who is Chairman and Representative Director, CEO of Gurunavi, Inc.

When completed, the multi-functional Taki Plaza will provide:

Event spaces where students, faculty, and staff gather for exchange
Group work areas to better facilitate Tokyo Tech's new curriculum
Information hotspots where students can discuss shared interests, and access information on study abroad and overseas universities
Support desks that smoothly provide students with a variety of services

Advancing diversity in its many forms has been a core component of Tokyo Tech's reforms since their launch in 2016. This includes providing Japanese students with increased opportunities to gain overseas experiences, expanding programs for inbound international students, and promoting an environment of cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary exchange. Taki Plaza, a rendezvous point for all international exchange, will strengthen Tokyo Tech as an open, borderless community that helps students realize their vision and pursue their aspirations proactively.

Inside Taki Plaza. Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates

Inside Taki Plaza
Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates

Joint press conference held

Tokyo Tech President Yoshinao Mishima, alumnus Taki, and architect Kuma shared their views on the planned plaza at a joint press conference on February 22.

(From left) Mishima, Taki, Kuma, and a scale model of Taki Plaza

(From left) Mishima, Taki, Kuma, and a scale model of Taki Plaza

"Taki Plaza will function as a true gateway between the Tokyo Tech community and the world," Mishima commented. "For today's students, cutting-edge science and technology is just as much about diversity as it is about becoming highly specialized experts. This facility will be a hub of exchange, and will have an extremely positive effect on enhancing diversity."

Alumnus Taki explained that, through his own overseas experiences, he learned the importance of being exposed to and understanding different values. He wanted to create impact in the world by supporting international students, and envisioned a physical location where both domestic and international students from his alma mater could better interact. "I decide to give to Tokyo Tech because I wanted current and future students to have an engaging place to go for exchange on campus. I hope this concept spreads to other universities," Taki noted.

Architect Kuma explained the design concept behind building. "While functioning as a topographical platform welcoming new students to Tokyo Tech, Taki Plaza also aims to symbolize the hill-like character of Ookayama Campus. The building will connect to the Library underground, and will combine two environments: the "quiet" required for reading and individual work, and the "action" present during collaborative group work," Kuma concluded.


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