derived from a philosophy of a play and active-based education to promote the freethinking in children, tokyo practice sugawaradaisuke designed the yutaka kindergarten in japan.
the designers decided to trace the word ‘kindergarten’ back to its original meaning ‘children’s garden’ which resulted in the site being characterized as a series of gardens.
through the use of the landscaped mosaic-like gardens, a number of diverse spaces for the children were formed and specific approaches were adopted to realize them. there are three gardens, each with contrasting furniture, walls and equipment: ‘garden of motion’, ‘garden of stillness’ and ‘garden with a roof’. each plot has been seamlessly integrated with each other to allow children of all ages to coexist and play together.
furthermore, the use of the layered, ramp-like walls referencing mountains have been used to induce the children’s motion by controlling their views. the distinctive organization of these partition walls instill spaciousness, diverse dispersion of light and a relationship between the loosely separated classrooms.
sugawaradaisuke explains: ‘variety of gardens expanded indoors and outdoors, stimulates human instincts to search for adequate environment, developing infant perceptions and experiences. the mixture of play that children are provided passively and play that children discover actively, is the very environment to educate infants through experience and creation.’