This building is a requirement of renovation that is located in the city of Kumamoto. While the kindergarten by city style has been requested to provide a variety of educational programs from high sensitivity of parents, the problem that there was few environment and nature where children can play by moving their body has been requested to be solved.
We were required to provide a highly changeable plan where fixed item is not set as much as possible in the building to change form and size of the room to the most appropriate form to be suitable for curriculum on the day such as joint class, English class and other class. In addition, we had to create an environment where the children can feel nature in the city.
Concretely speaking, we plan not to set a partition in nursery room and partition off by furniture where they can change form and territory of the class at their discretion. We made a system where the children purchase the furniture when they enter the kindergarten and bring it home when they graduate. By this system, they can keep their kindergarten clean since the furniture is renewed by 1 academic year every year. As form of the furniture can be also changed when it is renewed, the furniture is also changeable. Tategu (fixture that partitions off building such as door, sliding door, window frame, etc.) can open the whole building, and thereby they can use the whole building as a space half outside, which provides a space with high freedom. They can avoid strong sunlight and light rain since screen for outside is set at outside of the building.
Do you have an experience that you played by splashing in the pool when you were small? In the past, children had created a variety of plays in the pool that was made on the road after the rain had stopped. However, these days when the roads are paved, no pool is made. As we thought that we would like to give the children this enjoyment, roof at the part of open ceiling in Dai-ichi Kindergarten is designed to be opened and the rain is pooled in the patio when it rains. This is the best play area for children. In addition, water is frozen to ice in this basin in winter where it can be used as skating rink. When it snows, they can feel as if the snow fell in the building.
As roof of piloti can be opened and closed by weather, it can be used for stadium for all weather such as badminton, volleyball and other sport. Other than that, as it can be a lunch room by cooperating with neighboring kitchen, they can use inside space as outside space by opening the roof and tetegu. This kind of highly free space, which is used for all purposes, creates many types of play area stimulating the children’s creativity.
Uniqueness of the building is also shown in toilet. Our policy of designing is that the toilet must be bright and open all the time. While many children believe that the toilet is dark and scary, it is important to create an image that the toilet is a bright and clean space. This philosophy has also been applied in the Dai-ichi Kindergarten. As a result, the children do not feel scary about the toilet, and it made their body healthy since they can go to toilet whenever they have to go.
The building of the kindergarten has been reported in over 50 countries in the world. Numerous people have admired the environment where the pool is made in the kindergarten and the children can play there. It is the kindergarten that people pay attention. People around the world still would like to visit this kindergarten.