This building opened in April 2020 is the Hokkaido Forestry College, where students gain specialized knowledge and skills related to the forestry in Hokkaido. This is a vocational college where forty students spend two years studying together a wide range of forestry related studies including practical skills.
The site is a vacant lot adjacent to a building in the Hokkaido Forestry Products Research Institute, facing National Highway 237 in Nishikagura, Asahikawa City.
The school building is a two-story wooden building (partially reinforced concrete) which facade is aligned with the Hokkaido Forestry Products Research Institute building on the national highway side, with its entrance and the machine room building (energy building) located on the national highway side.
Floor Plans: The staff room and training room on the first floor, and classrooms on the second floor are located on the south side of the building to provide a quiet and bright indoor environment. The atrium in the entrance hall on the north side is connected to the second floor hall via a staircase, and the high sidelights above the south wall create a light ambience that changes according to the solar altitude of the four seasons. The large span of the atrium in the entrance hall is constructed of the beam string structure using Core-dry wood made of small-diameter wood. The light from the high sidelights pours down on the entire hall like sunlight filtering through trees in a forest. Our idea was to show the wooden interior environment filled with gentle light through the glass of the continuous wooden curtain wall made of larch.
Main structural components and finishes:
All components are made of Hokkaido-grown wood, with larch and Todo fur used for the structural members, larch for the exterior walls, and Japanese cedar, Japanese oak, and basswood for the interior finishes. The structural frame is a combination of Core-dry wood made of solid larch and CLT panels made of Todo fur and larch. The structure was constructed using Core-dry wood made of small-diameter wood, and the walls were constructed with a series of exposed small-span columns, aiming for a simple design that evokes the delicate beauty and the vibrant rhythms of a forest of trees. In order to achieve a column-free space of 10.80m x 18.45m for the training room, walls in the Y-direction of the training room and classrooms constructed with CLT panels are connected to the CLT panels of the second floor, from which the ceiling of the training room below is suspended from the steel beam string structure.
A heating system that uses Hokkaido-grown wood chips as a heat source is adopted, which is quite appropriate for a forestry school. Wood chips, made from thinned wood and unused wood from forests, are a carbon-neutral energy source that do not adversely affect the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere when combusted. Hokkaido-grown wood is also used as an energy source, and the biomass chips and chip boilers are placed so that they are visible from the outside, making them useful as educational materials.
Hokkaido is home to a thriving forestry and timber industry, ranked first in Japan in terms of timber production volume and value, area of plantations, and self-efficient ratio of locally produced lumber, which makes it a major region leading the forestry and timber industry in Japan.
Studying and practicing forestry in a region with such strength is not only a great advantage for students, but it will certainly motivate them to pursue their profession with pride and confidence.
The school was designed to foster human resources who will lead forest succession throughout Japan as well as Hokkaido by encouraging them to engage in discussions and hard work toward the realization of a society where forests and people involved in forest succession can live together in harmony.