tomonoki-himawari, located in tokyo’s arakawa ward, is a newly established private kindergarten with a capacity of 175 people. seeing that the surrounding environment was densely populated by houses and factories, mamm design aspired to create a space that would contribute to the growth of the children’s minds and bodies, and where the teachers and children could feel surrounded by nature. to achieve this, the studio arranged the classrooms and playroom to encircle the lush, green, light-filled garden to create a courtyard that brings the outside in.
aerial view — the surrounding environment is densely populated by houses and factories
to correspond with the children’s developmental changes, mamm design set up diverse spaces, such as classrooms, with different ceiling heights, playhouses suspended above the courtyard, and outdoor corridors which are looped and differ in width so that the children can have a variety of spaces to play or rest in. furthermore, the uses for each space was not decided beforehand in order to give the teachers and children the freedom to enjoy and utilize the rooms in ways that benefit them.
entrance of the playroom — natural motifs such as insects, trees, etc. are on the ceilings and walls as patterns and objects
‘as designers, we can appreciate the way spaces change for the people that use them,’ explains the team. ‘to further stimulate and enrich the children’s sensitivity, the entire facility is planted three-dimensionally in a way that showcases the four seasons and the changes in vegetation. as nature transforms with the seasons, the insects and birds that the vegetation attracts can be enjoyed by the children and their parents.’
the outdoor corridors are looped and differ in width so that the children can have a variety of spaces to study, play or rest
inspired by the surroundings, natural motifs such as insects, trees, etc. are hidden within and around the building as patterns and objects, so that the children can enjoy the space by constantly discovering new things. ‘as architects, we hope the special moments and memories made at tomonoki-himawari kindergarten stay with the children even after graduation,’ says maya mada, co-founder of the studio.
the classrooms and playroom encircle the lush, green, light-filled garden to create a courtyard that brings the outside in
the playhouses suspended above the courtyard connect children on the ground and above
the courtyard is planted three-dimensionally in a way that showcases the four seasons and the changes in vegetation
the courtyard has undulation slightly up and down
geometric patterns on the playground trigger children’s play
the courtyard can be the extension of classrooms on a fine day
as nature transforms with the seasons, the insects and birds that the vegetation attracts can be enjoyed by the children and their parents
a children’s toilet on the ground floor
classrooms are open toward the courtyard
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edited by: maria erman | designboom