Kengo Kuma and Associates has completed Morinos, an applied forestry school project in Gifu, Japan. Located in the north of Nagoya city, the school hosts educational programs and workshops that teach students the importance of forests and wildlife.
KKAA, the architectural firm led by Kengo Kuma, designed the project for the Gifu Academy of Forest Science and Culture, an institution that provides multidisciplinary practical education in forestry and wood utilization, environmental education, wooden architecture, and woodwork. The materials used in the design are included in the education process. The cypress trees used in the project were cut by the academy’s students majoring in Forestry studies.
The striking lean-to roof of the building covers an unobstructed space. Pillars of 100-year-old Japanese cypress trees cut by students, arranged in a V-shaped configuration, support this roof with a wide overhang. This creates a very open space in front of the building. The bark of the cedar trees used for doorjambs and mullions was retained. They are visible as a natural part of the building’s facade. These and similar details also contribute to the education process of the students. In this respect, the school sets an example for the sustainable management of forest resources. On the interior, a plastered wall using earth resembling a 12-layered ceremonial kimono, created by Syuhei Hasado, a plasterer from the Gifu prefecture stands out. The project is prominent in terms of the careful and efficient use of forest resources.