EDUCATION & ARCHITECTURE IN JAPAN: HAKUSUI NURSERY SCHOOL
Today at World Kids we are featuring this original nursery school in Sakura, Chiba (Japan), designed by Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop.
Seiyu-Kai, a local social welfare firm specializing in elderly care facilities, approached Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop for the design of this new nursery that should accomodate 60 pupils. The overarching concept for this plan started with an idea: “a nursery school is a large house.”
Surrounded by mountains and forest, the southern area of the site rests on a gentle slope. Putting this topography to use, they designed the school room to resemble a large set of stairs.
One unique feature of this “large house,” for example, is that a 3-year old child is in the same room as a 5-year old. These children of different ages can interact in the wide, one-room space.
Additionally, should a 3 year-old child be sleeping while a 5 year old child plays nearby, these differences in rhythm reinforce the “domestic” qualities of this “large house.”
Keeping in line with Seiyu-kai’s longstanding (26-year) philosophy, the design priorizes the number of blind-spots within the room in order to keep safety measures as unintrusive as possible.
Utilizing large sliding window frames along the northern and southern faces, along with the space created by the slope, ventilation is created as a breeze draws in from the south of the structure, passes through the forest-like interior pillars making its way upwards before finally blowing out across the terrace on the northern side.
I love the idea of a small pond on the southern end which gathers rainwater as well as water from sprinklers installed on the southward-slanted roof, and that also contributes to the airflow.
One can feel that this whole project is a comprehensive plan to create a space that is really inseparable from the environment that surrounds it.
In the words of Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop: “our goal was to create a space that was not only fun for the children but by blending into the nature around it, it could foster an experience that was greater than the sum of its elements”.