The construction of the GRIPS campus was the first Public Finance Initiative project sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Designed by the Yamashita Sekkei and Richard Rogers Partnership, the campus opened its doors in the spring of 2005. The campus is located in Roppongi, close to the Japanese Diet and government ministries.
Designed to support various research and educational activities, the GRIPS building has four distinct characteristics:
- The innovative design connects a 14-storey tower with a 5-storey low-rise by means of a long, light-filled atrium overlooking the National Art Center, Tokyo. The tower houses faculty offices and the low-rise contains administrative suits, classrooms, a library and other academic facilities.
- Six visually and functionally distinct segments gradually “step down” from the top of the tower to ground level in harmony with the surrounding skyline.
- The building consists of 8.1×7.2-meter-square units that can be combined to create larger spaces or divided into smaller rooms.
- The terra-cotta tiles on the outside walls and the ipe wood of the indoor decks give GRIPS a distinct look, reflecting both its academic mission and warm atmosphere.
The skylit atrium runs the full length of the building from the first through the fifth floor, offering a view of the entire building design. Terraces within the atrium become wider with each floor; their wooden decks bring nature inside for an atmosphere of relaxed openness. Dark pink accents on the connecting stairs and bridges express the warmth of the sun, while the yellow-green entrance to the Soukairou Hall symbolizes a bright future. These colors, together with the natural color of the wooden decks, complement the deep purple of the GRIPS logo (a color called pansées) to create a warm and pleasant atmosphere.
The top floor of the low-rise features a high ceiling, panoramic windows, and spacious halls and lecture rooms. Across the atrium, the inside wall of the high-rise is made of glass, its fifth-floor classrooms offering a magnificent view of the atrium and indoor terraces. This design maximizes daylight and promotes interaction among the students and faculty.
The yellow-green color called wakana in Japanese evokes a bright future; at the entrance to the Soukairou Hall it makes the hall easy to find. The two-storey hall has an interpretation booth, projection room, audio room, and 300 seats on sliding tracks that can be removed with the press of a button. This flexible design allows the hall to be used for many purposes, including international conferences and lectures.
The interior of the hall is functional yet elegant, with the carpeted floors and acoustic walls in deep red and the chairs and sound-absorbing walls in muted grey. In the meeting room across the hall, a sunroof brings in soft daylight; this room can be divided into three separate rooms with movable partitions.
Origins of the Name “Soukairou Hall”
The area around Roppongi 7-chome used to be the site of the residential compound (kamiyashiki) of Japanese feudal lord Date family. One of the buildings and a large garden on the grounds were called “Soukairou.”We borrowed this name for our multi-purpose hall to reflect the heritage of the area.