ATG Kindergarten and Nursery / HIBINOSEKKEI + Youji no Shiro + Kids Design Labo
Textual description provided by the architects. Tokamachi is an extreme wilderness area where cold air from the land and warm currents from the Sea of Japan collide with the Ichigo-sanzan Mountains, bringing down a lot of snow. In Tokamachi, a traditional event called “Honiara-do” has been passed down from generation to generation. Honiara Do is a place where everyone comes together to eat, play, enjoy and learn, a scene that has continued in this region for a long time. The new school building is a place like “Honyara-do” “no matter the season”.
In winter, there is a lot of snow. The unique outdoor environment of the area with heavy snowfall is combined with children’s play and learning to create a richer play environment for children. A terrace surrounds the main building, and a ski slope is planned for when there is snow and grass slides at other times of the year. In addition, the large, flexible plane was created as a place where children can play outside in different ways regardless of the season or climate. We have designed an environment where children can practice and challenge different play activities in harmony with the outdoor environment throughout the four seasons.
Inside, we designed different spaces and mechanisms to encourage children to play and learn in different ways. Even during the snow season when outdoor activities are impossible, a spacious playroom for various activities and a mobility corridor are provided to ensure adequate physical activity for children. The studio space and picture book space allow for creative play and learning. In other areas, children can choose their play space from different spaces with elements such as a fireplace, water tank wall and a children’s kitchen. The school is designed to enhance children’s initiative through play.
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