RJ Nursery by HIBINOSEKKEI + Youji no Shiro
HIBINOSEKKEI + Youji no Shiro planned ‘RJ Kindergarten‘ in Japan, a new construction project created to house 135 children. The design is based on the concept of ‘cultivating imagination and love of hometown’, reviving the feeling of community and togetherness. The architects sought to create deep communication with the neighboring temple, once a gathering place for the district, open to locals and visitors not only to pray but also to interact and play. Thus, the idea was to bring culture, locals and children closer, promoting interaction, sensitivity and creativity, thus allowing the new generations to develop their social and communication skills.
To put this into practice, the resulting building adopts a permeable character, thanks to the vertical lattice that covers the façade and the generous playground that extends on the north side, favoring a visual connection with the adjacent temple. Wide 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 passage of time
Children tend to ‘imitate the action of adults in daily life’ and, through visual stimuli, develop their manners and communication skills. In collaboration with KIDS DESIGN LABO (see more here), the architects pursued active communication between different ages, encouraging interaction and socialization. Therefore, they placed a climbing net as a bridge between the small children’s room on the second floor and the babies’ room on the third level.
The interiors are imbued with warm tones and different textures, creating a more intimate environment for children and fostering sensitivity and creativity. Material-wise, the team used copper powder as a finishing material to add a traditional Japanese flair and notion of the temple’s sanctity. This material choice reveals its charm as it intrinsically ages over time, revealing the passing of the years. ‘Such aged material makes children wonder and stimulates their curiosity.’
In addition, the vertical blind encourages children to feel the change of nature; let the sun fall, create a play of shadows, allow a sweet breeze to waft inside, or echo the soothing sound of rain. To the HIBINOSEKKEI team (more here) + Youji no Shiro (here), this nursery is conceived as a place of learning, a space that molds personalities and encourages them to grow even more in their rich mentality while appreciating the change of seasons and times.
a climbing net acts as a bridge between the two levels and seeks active communication between the different ages
wide floor-to-ceiling openings expand the area of the building and encourage young students to explore