RJ Nursery by HIBINOSEKKEI + Youji no Shiro
HIBINOSEKKEI + Youji no Shiro planned ‘RJ kindergarten‘ in Japan, a newly built project created to accommodate 135 children. The design is based on the concept of “cultivating imagination and a love of hometown” and enlivens the sense of community and togetherness. The architects tried to create deep communication with the neighboring temple, which was once a meeting place for the neighborhood, open to locals and visitors not only for prayer but also for sharing and games. So the idea was to bring culture, local people and children closer together, to encourage interaction, sensitivity and creativity, thus enabling the new generation to develop their social and communication skills.
In order to put this into practice, the resulting building is given a permeable character by the vertical lamella cladding of the facade and the spacious playground that extends on the north side, which creates a visual connection to the adjacent temple. The expansive floor-to-ceiling openings stimulate their curiosity and allow young students to explore, greet visitors, and observe the ritual of worship. all images by Toshinari Soga
Develop character while appreciating the passing of time
Children tend to “imitate the actions of their elders in everyday life” and develop their manners and communication skills through visual stimuli. In collaboration with KIDS DESIGN LABO (see more here), the architects pursued an active communication between different age groups that encouraged interaction and conviviality. Therefore, they positioned a climbing net as a bridge between the toddler’s room on the second floor and the toddler’s room on the third floor.
The interiors are permeated with warm tones and different textures, creating a more intimate environment for the children, encouraging sensitivity and creativity. In terms of material, the team used copper powder as a finishing material to add a traditional Japanese style and an idea of the sacredness of the temple. This choice of material reveals its charm as it naturally ages over time revealing the passage of the years. “Such an aging material inspires children to marvel and arouse their curiosity.”
In addition, the vertical blinds encourage children to feel the change in nature; it lets in the sun, creates a play of shadows, lets a sweet breeze penetrate or echoes the soothing sound of rain. For the team of HIBINOSEKKEI (more here) + Youji no Shiro (here) this nursery is designed as a place of learning, a space that shapes personalities and provides impetus to further develop their rich mindset while appreciating the changing seasons and times.
a climbing net acts as a bridge between the two levels and seeks active communication between different age groups
Wide floor-to-ceiling openings expand the building’s footprint and encourage young students to explore