Yuyu-no-mori Nursery School and Day Nursery, Yokohama, Japan
Exemplary design categories: access, community use and involvement, furniture, multi-sensory environment, outdoor spacesHow the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
This is the first school in Yokohama to combine a nursery school with a day nursery for babies and toddlers. Children are encouraged to explore all of the building and the grounds. There is a large play net suspended from the loft space above the first floor, which allows children to play and exercise even when it is raining and they cannot play outside. The nursery playground is composed of three areas: a small playing field for active play such as ball games, a grass-covered slope for games such as tag and sliding, and a two-storey wooden play structure with decks, towers and bridges. There are also slides and other play equipment. For the younger children attending the nursery there is a separate, secluded play area running down the side of the building. Overlooked by a teacher’s office, this space has sand pits, shallow pools and play equipment .The nursery is housed in a two-storey building. On the ground floor there is the nursery, a small kitchen and lunch room, administration office and a room for an after-school club. The main entrance opens out into a lobby and reception area and a hall (below the net), which can be used for assemblies or performances. The nursery occupies a self-contained area on the ground floor. There are three rooms for children. On the first floor there are six classrooms for the nursery school, three on either side of the internal corridor running around the atrium housing the net. Partitions between the classrooms can be opened up to create larger spaces. Each classroom has a ladder leading to a small loft area, which provides access to the catwalk surrounding the net. Wooden floors, furniture and fittings give the rooms a warm and intimate feel. There is an office for teachers on the first floor, which is positioned to overlook the playground and the children playing in the net. The nursery was planned in response to the needs of local residents.
Activity Areas: administration, day nursery, hall, kitchen, lunch room, after-school club day nursery playground, nursery school playground, classrooms, teachers’ office, play net structure structure
Project costs: JPY 470,000,000.00
Source: "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011"