New Campus Update: Notable Milestones Reached

New Campus Update: Notable Milestones Reached

by Bob Pomeroy, Head of Operations

Notable Milestones Reached

As of January 31, 2021

  • Construction Progress Toward Completion: 35%
  • Days Until Start of Classes in New Campus:  345 
  • YIS2C Capital Campaign Progress: 7.9%

Work is proceeding apace on the new YIS campus, which marked some notable milestones in recent weeks. Construction is now more than one-third complete and we are less than a year away from the planned commencement of classes in our new home! 

On January 20th a Jotoshiki ceremony was held to celebrate the placement of the last structural beam and wish for the safety of the buildings after completion. After signing their names on the steel beam, representatives from architects Kengo Kuma and Associates, project managers JLL, general contractor Taisei Corp. and YIS gathered together with construction crews in front of the South Building to perform a ceremonial check of the fastener bolts and then watch as the 90-ton crawler crane swiftly lifted the beam into place atop what will be the west wall of the gymnasium, where workers bolted it into place. 

As work was proceeding on completing the structural steel framework of the South Building, crews were busy at work on the North Building. Floor slabs have been completed for all floors of the four-story building, and stairways and elevator shafts put into place. The building has now been almost fully enclosed with the autoclaved lightweight concrete (ALC) structural wall panels, and the large, distinctively offset window openings are now visible behind the mesh netting of the surrounding scaffolding. The shape of the gently sloped roof is also now becoming apparent as rafters are put into place. In a recent walkthrough of the North Building, even though interior walls have not yet been started, it was possible to get a sense of the shape and scale of some of the large common areas, including the auditorium, cafeteria, library, elementary open hub, third-floor garden and outdoor decks. We were also pleasantly surprised to discover that parts of the third and fourth floors along the east side of the building afford quite a nice view of the Yokohama Bay Bridge.    

In the coming weeks, one of the two 90-ton crawler cranes will be dismantled and a temporary construction elevator installed at the front of the North Building, as work there begins on interior wall framework and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) infrastructure. At the same time, in the South Building, where the concrete base of the swimming pool has already been completed, crews will proceed with pouring of the remaining floor slab for the double gym and other areas, as well as installation of the ALC wall panels. At this pace we expect to be able to share some interior views of the pool and gym spaces with our next monthly update. Stay tuned!

More videos and photos are available in the New Campus Construction album in YIS Photos.

Head of School Craig Coutts signs the last beam to be raised for the structural framework, in the Jotoshiki ceremony

Head of School Craig Coutts adds YIS project team members’ names
to the last structural beam for the Jotoshiki ceremony.


The Jotoshiki ceremony celebrated the placement of the last structural beam and wish for the safety of the buildings after completion.


last beam of the South Building fitted in place, with decorative ceremonial coloured ribbons

Last structural beam in place atop the South Building.

Completed framework of South Building with white reinforcing diagonal beams

The steel framework of the South Building features massive diagonal stabilizing braces around the walls of the double gymnasium and indoor swimming pool. 

scaffolding on the 3F garden, which gets plenty of sun

Large third-floor balcony garden area above the elementary open hub has excellent light. 
Interior view of pitched roof beams with surrounding scaffolding and netting

Slope of the gently pitched roof is visible above the art & design area on the fourth floor of the North Building. 
Interior view of the auditorium, with cement flooring, construction netting and scaffolding

With the roof and structural walls nearly complete, the scale of the auditorium is now more apparent. View here is from the balcony level.

View into the elementary hub from the library. Curved floor section is part of amphitheater-style reading and presentation space.



North Building main facade bathed in light of the setting sun. Offset windows gradually set in place.

Large, slightly offset window openings, one of the distinctive features of Kengo Kuma’s design, are visible behind the mesh scaffolding netting in the late afternoon sun.