10th Anniversary Campaign

Phase 2 Construction – “As Comfortable As Home”



For ISAK’s current campus expansion project, which includes the construction of a second school building and fourth residential building, ISAK has partnered with Coelacanth and Associates, an award-winning architectural firm that is highly regarded in the field of educational architecture.

For Coelacanth and Associates, architecture is based on “flow,” whether that means the flow of sunlight, sound, air or activity. “We believe that architecture contributes to the creation of events through the flow of different elements. Especially in the case of school design, we focus on how these elements can foster energy and creativity.”  In the planning stages of the ISAK expansion project, the Coelacanth architects spent long hours on detailed research, interviews and on-site observations in order to understand the “flow” at ISAK and how the various campus needs could be integrated into the architectural design.

Architect-Meeting-Initial research began with an interview of ISAK’s Chair of the Board Lin Kobayashi, Janice Murabayashi (Assistant Head of School) and Taeko Yasuda, who has played a key role in campus construction and procurement from ISAK’s initial stages. Coelacanth held numerous meetings with these three prior to developing an initial design plan, with the greatest amount of time dedicated to understanding the curriculum and student schedules at ISAK.

All students at ISAK begin the IB Diploma Programme from Grade 11, and student schedules are quite complicated compared to many traditional schools. Based on a class schedule created by the Assistant Head of School, the Coelacanth architects looked at the number of ISAK students, number of total subjects, and number of required subjects. Following detailed analysis of the information, the architects were able to minimize the number of classrooms that would be idle during the day, achieving more space for other facilities.

Additionally, in order for the architects to see how the students and faculty actually utilized the classroom space, they took video footage of all of the classes and researched how the space was being used. They also came to campus for overnight visits, and had the opportunity to see how students spent time in the residences and classrooms after school. More unusually, the architects made an effort to experience ISAK from a student’s perspective, and were even seen playing the guitar and chatting with students in the common areas of the residential buildings. The design of the new school building and residence hall reflects this deeper understanding of ISAK students’ interests and needs.

Construction of the new buildings is scheduled to be complete in June 2016. We are excited to see the completed buildings, which the Coelacanth architects have designed with an aim to be “as comfortable as being at home.”

You can read more about ISAK’s facilities on our Campus Facilities page.









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