How can a study hall in a busy city setting benefit students through creativity and a positive learning environment?

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Project Statement

This project drives to design a hall in Chofu City of Tokyo, where students of all grades and interests can come and be productive at their own pace, thus increasing their quality of education (SDG#4). Cafes and coffee shops like Starbucks are constantly crammed with people, creating a far from ideal workspace. The hope is to create a building that invites a wide range of people spanning from kids to adults who have already begun their professional careers. The study hall should be a free space where people may work and do as they please. The objective of the study hall is to provide the appropriate environment in which people can learn simply. There will be a conference room, a kiosk, a video room, and finally, practice rooms for musicians to maximize the potential of this study hall further. The overall plan is to build an indoor domain that boosts productivity and morale in the setting of a busy city station.


My building users will primarily consist of students and tutors who seek a space where they can teach and be taught in an open area instead of the distracting outdoors or a busy cafe. This space also may be occupied by those who wish to read a book or newspaper.


People aren’t productive at home because there are too many distractions, not to mention it’s also a place where you go to relax and rest. Those who need a place that helps them focus and be productive would appreciate having this building since it’ll let them do just that. Students that seek a study environment would use this space. 


In the city where I live (Chofu), cafes like Starbucks and Doutor are always crammed with people and are always noisy with coffee machines gurgling and constant chatter. There is also a University nearby the station I live by, so having an uncrowded, quiet space where students can take in knowledge uninterrupted sounded like a good solution. I also live in a heavily packed residential area spanning stations, so households with kids can use that space for studying, as well as tutoring.

Case studies

(Analysis of inspiration)

Humboldt University

This is the library of Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. I love having platforms and an open space to glance at after looking at computer screens and worksheets for a long period of time. Aesthetics are important but being able to create powerful designs that can uphold function, I think, has the potential to be something great. I also am a fan of the material used. Wood is definitely a material that boosts concentration since many old buildings that are made of wood release warm and calming vibrations suited for studying.

Nakajima Library

This is the Nakajima Library at the Akita International University in Japan. The use of cedar trees and natural lighting creates a nice atmosphere. The design and layout are based on the Colosseum with bookshelves forming concentric circles around the center table area or the stage. Natural light is definitely something to consider when thinking about how to create the most ideal learning environment for clients. This layout is different from the example above in that this is more familiar and the other feels more alien.

Musashino Art University

This is the Musashino Art University library. I picked this image because I was fascinated by the facade of the building. Before I had intended to build a pretty high building but after looking at this image I am considering making it a low ceiling instead. Japan has restrictions on how high a building must be due to the proximity of each building, but this should make that less of an issue. I also am in love with the wood being reinforced by an outer glass layer. I think by adding glass, you take an old wood design and transform it to look much more modern. 

Client Interviews

Responses: My sister (senior at ASIJ)-

  • Wishes cafes were less crowded so that it’s easier to find a seat and get to work
  • However, feels ok with studying at home
  • The atmosphere of starbucks is perfect because it’s dark 
  • Noise isn’t as bothersome as the density of people
  • Adding elements of nature in a busy city could be beneficial (plants, natural lighting)
  • Interior design and furniture directly affects the comfort of the user so it can be helpful to take into account how that can come into play.

ASIJ Librarian

  • Comfortable and not comfortable spaces
  • Variety in furniture and space
  • Access to food and drinks will make quality of life better
  • A video and audio room for presentations and recordings
  • Design-wise, appreciated lighting and soft corners

Site Analysis

The selected area is a completely open area filled with benches placed awkwardly and plain asphalt. I think it’s a complete waste of space to add benches randomly in a perfect space and the middle of a busy area, so I thought, why not build something there that could benefit the people surrounding it. It’s in the vicinity of bus stops and train stations, so the location wise it’s perfect, and there is a lot of natural light to draw into the building. 

Needs Analysis

I need windows that allow the passage of natural light and furniture that is comfortable and would allow students to stay put for long periods of time as they work. I also plan to make the primary material be wood since it brings a warm, comforting feeling to an atmosphere. I would also like to make a recessed entrance with double doors so that less noise enters the interior space as people come in. Not making the floor a carpet would also be a good idea since people will eat and drink. Furniture of all kinds is also a need because different kinds of furniture meet other people’s requirements better than others since this is a public space. There will be one main conference room and four practice rooms, one of them being extra large for bigger bands.


  • Bathrooms
  • One large study area
  • Conference rooms
  • Practice rooms for music students
  • Kiosk workers
  • Video Room

Program Data Sheets

(Wishes and requirements of each room)

Here is an example

Bubble Diagram

(Format and room relationships)

Mood Board


Site Plan
Floor Plan (Floor 1)
Floor Plan (Floor 2)

Design Development





Please follow this link if you would like to see my Project Process in fullincludes complete bibliography

or view directly here:

I would appreciate your Feedback on my idea, please do respond below to these questions:

Would you see this building being of good use in your community?

Can you identify a site, anywhere in your community where a similar project might be sited?

I was intentional about my selection of materials, how do you think the materials used help set the tone of the building?

Do you think the materials would need to change if the building or one like it were placed in your community?

Do you think the design posed a fulfilling solution to the problem?

What might I do to further refine my design idea?




  1. Hey Youri, Great job with your project. I really like how well your floor plans convey the different elevations within the building and I think that your site location is fantastic. Great job man!

  2. Hey Youri! I really enjoy how your space is made complex by staying away from a boxy shape. The stairs and main entry in particular are very interesting and really add to the feel of the space. I also find that the way you added your building to a photo of the space really helps the concept come to life!

  3. Hey Youri, This is a great project. I also focused on the same STG. It is awesome to see another approach to it. Your study hall idea is really awesome and I like how you used elements that are appealing to all different interests, including the music rooms. I love the simple design and the floor plan seems really well thought out. Great Job!

  4. Hi Youri! Great job with your project! I think a building like this would be nice to have in my community but would be best in a large city, as sometimes quiet spaces to do work can be limited. I think your material choice of the darker wood definitely helps set the tone for a more calm environment, and the only reason I would change the materials if a building like this was placed in the States would be to use a material that is more common, plentiful, and native. Nice work!

  5. Hi Youri, I really like your project and you can really see your inspirations being used in your final project. I think it is a great idea that could also be a good addition to really any community.

  6. Hi Youri! Your project is so well illustrated and organized. I think it’s amazing how you gave so many different forms of the design to provide context to how the structure would work and function in real life. I really liked how you put a drawing of your design into an image of the city because it adds to the type of environment you want your structure to be surrounded by. Overall, amazing project Youri!

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