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Gunma International Academy


This is a primary and secondary school complex built in the downtown area of Ota City, Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo. It uses the new bilingual educational school system, involving the English Immersion Programme. Located in residential district, the school was designed as a series of wooden one-storey buildings settling subtly into the townscape and covering a vast area. Given that classes are taught in both English and Japanese, and from 36 to only a small number of students, the traditional alignment of classrooms was considered inappropriate and it was decided to use a programme to define the activity flow. As a result, the school becomes a ”big house”, a ”neighbourhood”, and a small city: each ”house” contains a 100 student grade, and each ”neighbourhood” contains three grades.