When architect Yoshiki Nishio from Taisei Corporation designed the Hokkaido University of Science, he focused on creating a harmonious setting that blended functional and architectural solutions.

The facade of the building features piers arranged three metres apart. It also symbolises a door to the future and creates a standard module used throughout the building – based on its smallest unit, the laboratory. This way, the layout can easily be changed to accommodate future expansions.

The standard size of the module makes it suitable for housing lighting and climate control equipment. It’s also perfect for prefabrication, which has considerably reduced the working time on site while ensuring a superior quality of execution.

The building’s structure consists of a hybrid system that uses prefabricated concrete pillars and steel beams. Together, they create free space for the columns, whose shape is drawn by a sort of brise soleil facade to filter direct sunlight.

Walking along the road perpendicular to the building on the university campus, you come across the main gate, which is a metaphorical gate to the future. The entrance hall features a porcelain stoneware floor with an inlaid world map obtained by waterjet cutting, emphasising the versatility of Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware. Tiles from the Marte collection in Raggio di Luna and Grigio Maggia were used to create the grey shades of the oceans and continents. By contrast, tiles in Madras Pink (also from the Marte collection) were used to emphasise Japan and the city of Hokkaido.

The stretch between the main gate and the world map symbolises the journey the students embark on at the Hokkaido University of Science to spread their wings and succeed in the world after graduation.

For more information, visit Casalgrande Padana at www.casalgrandepadana.com/en/.

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