History of Facility Development

Environmental Workshop (1979)


The Nishimachi Internationalist Issue One, Spring 1980

On December 13, 1979 an invitation to the whole-school Environmental Workshop was sent home with the weekly NISHIMACHI NEWS.

“The entire community – students, parents, and teachers – is invited to participate in a series of ‘workshops’ to consider possible ways and means of rebuilding the school. Each of us will have the chance to be ‘architect for a day.’ If we were to rebuild our school facilities on the same piece of property, how would we go about doing it? What class space and play space and meeting space and office space and storage space would we need to design? What things do we now lack which could be incorporated into a newly-built school?”

The workshop took place over three days in January 1980. It was an exciting and strengthening experience for the NIS community. But that was just a beginning. Where do we go from here? We agree on the need to have a well-considered long-term plan. The challenge is to match our dreams with the means to realize them. Some of those dreams can be realized easily with the imagination and vitality and flexibility, which are so much a part of the NIS tradition.

Environment
Promoting ideas during the 1980 Environmental Workshop

Summing Up The NIS Environmental Workshops

LIKES
1. Family spirit
2. Student-faculty close interaction
3. Creative use of space
4. Size of classes – 25 maximum
5. Residence – sacred ground – an important symbol of the school

DISLIKES
1. Ad hoc additions and changes
2. Idea of adding high school
3. Small classrooms
4. Smallness of school limits the variety of activities
5. Efficiency in office limited by inconvenient space

SUGGESTIONS
1. We want permanent buildings
2. Gymnasium, language lab, art, music studio, stage, library reading area
3. Utilize second floor: balconies
4. Increase students, up to 500 (50 each in K-9) to support new facilities
5. P.E. time:
(a) Rent fields close to school
(b) Use of morning and after school time
(c) Schedule Friday for sports and activities only
6. Lounge-quiet area, with plants and sun
7. Parking underground
8. Separate libraries for primary and upper grades
9. Blend what you have with what you need
10. Kazuno
(a) Need field in center for sports (more small buildings)
(b) Keep it “simple”
(c) Use it for more grades, i.e. have a boarding term for grade six

PRIORITIES
1. Gymnasium
2. Library-media quiet space
3. Japanese culture center – language lab
4. Pool very important
5. Sunlight for building and playground
6. Organize an alumni association
7. GET FUNDS!

Nishimachi International School
2-14-7 Moto Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0046 Japan Tel: +81- (0)3-3451-5520

A well-recognized, independent, and coeducational K-9 international school in central Tokyo.

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