The construction of the Ookayama Campus Library was completed in February 2011 and the library opened in July of the same year. This landmark building stands in pride of place on route from the Main Gate to the Main Building. The triangular, glass-encased structure next to the hill planted with indigenous wildflowers and grasses is affectionately known as the "cheese cake."
Plans for the construction of the new library were drawn up after it was found that the old one did not comply with newly enacted earthquake resistance standards and anti-seismic reinforcement measures would be insufficient to address the problem.
The library is located at the intersection of two major campus axes: the one running from the Main Building down the promenade of cherry blossom trees, and the other extending between the Main Gate and the library running parallel to the railway tracks. This site was chosen for its centrality to students, faculty and staff who pass by or gather here on a daily basis.
The library, as the focal point of accumulated knowledge, is both the literal and figurative center of the Institute. Four concepts influenced the design of the building to ensure its continued centrality to the Tokyo Tech community.
The Midori no Oka, or the green hill, is prominently located opposite the promenade in front of the Main Building. Lying just under the hill is the library's administrative office. The first- and second-level basements, housing the library's vast collections, are located under the plaza at the foot of the hill. The glass, triangular-shaped building immediately adjacent to the hill contains study spaces on the second and third floors. The total floor space of the Ookayama Library is approximately 8,600 m2.
The Ookayama Library has been designated as one of the National Centers for Overseas Periodicals by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Its unrivaled collection of science and technology resources contains more than 660,000 volumes. It also has 28,000 shelves and 754 seats.
The V-shaped columns extend from the ground to the uppermost corner of the third floor and can be seen through the glass of the study spaces on the second and third floors. The seating configuration on these floors follows the curtain wall of the building providing panoramic views. The open plan of the study spaces creates a comfortable environment. The building's open transoms are a source of natural ventilation and a carefully designed curtain wall softens direct sunlight and saves energy. Additionally, solar panels are built into the vertical louvers on the south side of the building and supply part of the electric power the library consumes.
In January 2015, the library was renovated in line with Tokyo Tech's innovative educational concept, creating spaces for group study and discussion on the second floor. Pentagonal desks and colorful chairs can be combined freely, and students are welcomed to bring drinks to the open space. There are four Group Study Rooms on the third floor, which are equipped with whiteboards and projector screens for meetings and presentation practice.
The Ookayama Library makes its collection available to outside researchers under certain conditions. The library is also a must-see sight for its architectural beauty and value.