Eschewing book-lined libraries, the Gifu University of Medical Science in Kani has introduced a new type of study space. At its Faculty of Pharmacy building, students work in free-standing plywood booths that can accommodate single to three-person study sessions.

Designed by Nagoya-based Yoshihiro Kato Atelier, the project takes cues from vernacular Japanese architecture. Ranging from one to two meters in length and width, the booths are padded in tatami-like mats, giving a certain comfort to the spaces. Multi-purpose and multi-scale, the study areas cater to a range of functions: group and individual work, eating and napping. Low-to-ground tables inside the nooks accommodate books and supplies.

Arranged in pockets throughout a free-span room, the booths are differentiated by their vibrant hues and swooping Sina-plywood profiles. Window apertures provide views into adjacent halls and study compartments.

Unlike working in hushed-tone libraries, students within the Faculty of Pharmacy study space are encouraged to collaborate with one another while preparing for exams and completing assignments. The result? A cross-disciplinary community where students stimulate each other’s growth and cultivate ambitions.

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