Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Hakusui Nursery School, Chiba, Japan

Exemplary design categories: comfort, flexible learning settings, furniture, green school, multi-sensory environment, outdoor spaces, safety

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
Conceived as a “large house” for nurturing the receptive minds of children and fostering formative experiences, this school utilizes the local topography and climate in its design. Resembling a large set of stairs with a natural breeze flowing throughout, it is energy_sustainable with no artificial climate_control system. This "house" where children of different ages play together also encourages sociability. Without separating the space with partitions, we placed the floor along the slope of the site and defined the nursery room boundaries with the steps. The natural breeze that flows through the space and the water that falls from the south eaves nurtures valuable tactile experiences in the young children. By translating the environment into architectural space, we created a facility that becomes the environment that surrounds it.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
This nursery eliminates the dead area and improves the physical ability of children. Generally, nursery school facilities tend to be uniform from one to the other. Increasing options for the parents and providing an alternative to the norm attracts customer and leads to this nursery school succeeding on a commercial level. Also as the nursery school becomes established not only as a public care facility but also as a hub of community welfare it succeeds on a social level. Specifically, we placed an “observation stage” to foster sociability among the parents where they can look over on the nursery room and meet with each other. In addition, the facility also serves to foster interaction with the local elderly population in cooperation with a nearby elderly nursing home, hosting exhibitions for children’s work in openhouse events.

Activity Areas: Play Room, Nursery Room, Nap Room, Baby Room

Project costs: JPY 167,000,000.00

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