The site is located in the area with deeply indented coastline. It has a peaceful sea in south and a mountain range is behind it. By using the characteristics of this environment, we decided that concept of Obama Kodomoen is a building opened to the sea. In the site, there is 12 meter floor difference, and it is designed that children can feel their eye and existence each other by using this floor difference.
The children who live around the site had a problem of lack of physical ability and obesity. This was mostly caused by reason that the children play in the room more often such as playing video game and other as well as they have not eaten well balanced food. We were required to solve this kind of problem in the construction this time.
For this kind of problem, we suggested to create an area where many types of movements by using their body are produced to promote various movements of the children. For example, we not only drew children’s interest by making a hole in the ground, wall of blackboard and shelf of picture book but also changed material of the floor to make them unconsciously feel differently while setting a number of small floor differences. We set the stairs that is thin and long enough for the children to pass, and also set a loft to which they can go up from there by rope and rod for climbing. On the roof where they arrive after going up this thin and long stairs, there is a deck terrace open to the sea. It is designed as if the building was floating on the sea. We set a rope for play equipment outside that connects this comfortable roof terrace and terrace on the 2nd floor directly, and it gives a circuit atmosphere in the whole building. By designing in this way, it is intended to improve the physical ability as well as grow ability of provoking awareness and mind of challenging through the play.
We took the data of this building after its completion, and found that exercise volume of the children in this kindergarten has overwhelmingly increased in comparison with those who go to similar type of kindergarten in the neighborhood.
For the purpose of improving eating, we also put emphasis on open and comfortable feeling for the space of eating. As for dining room with open ceiling that is the front of the building, a terrace is set where there is an outside space if they open the sash, and it produces the comfortableness that is open to the sea. Other than that, as we set a counter for children by designing that they can see the kitchen from any place, they can learn about eating including setting and clearing the table. As a result, the children are interested in eating, and it reduced their likes and dislike of food while increased their appetite.
In this way, not only the design but also the environment and handling where several problems about the children have been approached are highly valued. Therefore, not only mass media has reported the Obama Kodomoen but also people around the world have been asking to visit. It is the kindergarten that has been paid attention.