Open-Air Kindergarten

1992 -

Open-Air Kindergarten is a memorial annex to celebrate the school’s 40th anniversary. It was supposed to be a playroom opened to the community. The site is in the yard of the kindergarten, which sits on a promontory facing a waterway, with a grove of trees at its back. The kindergarten itself is in a residential neighborhood at the foot of Mt. Rokko. The new memorial is in the form of a “bower” which seems to be composed of just columns and a canopy, utilizing the blessing of its locale by the nature.
The building is conceived as an architecturalized toy. The windows and doors are designed to be fully opened but also to be closed as needed. The spring-up doors are created as a filter that gently mediates the garden setting and the door-heights are set so that only children can pass through those easily.
Children can run through, and around the canopy while others sit inside and read books or draw. The canopy is essentially a tent for sports meets, bazaars, mochitsuki (making traditional rice cakes), and camp-outs; allowing the children to move freely in the open air.
Aside from this “bower”, a closed volume is cut into the masonry walls that faces the grove and buried a half level in order to maintain the open nature of the surroundings. This area is reserved just for parents to meet calmly in small groups; private meetings, like parent-teacher conferences.

location Takarazuka City, Hyogo
principal use Kindergarten play room
completion date 1992
total floor area 72m2
structure steel frame, reinforced concrete
1 basement and 1 story