Architects: Tezuka Architects
Creative Director: Kashiwa Sato
Lighting Designer: Masahide Kakudate/Masahide Kakudate Lighting Architect & Associates,Inc.
Photography: Tezuka Architects, Katsuhisa Kida / FOTOTECA
Location: Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan
Tezuka Architects joined forces with Kashiwa Sato, one of Toyko’s most respected creative directors, to build Fuji Kindergarten, a novel type of kindergarten in Tachikawa, 40km west of Tokyo.
Fuji Kindergarten’s most captivating element is its circular form. The large one-story halo-shaped building has an 183m outer circumference, and an inner circumference of 108m. Rather than symbolic or aesthetic, the the building’s circle-shape works on a practical level, whereby the central courtyard becomes a meeting point, creating and incentivising a system of communal togetherness.
Fuji Kindergarten has been designed to children’s scale, ceiling heights are restricted to 2.1m. This creates a a very close relationship between the ground level and the rooftop, creating an influential factor encouraging the children to explore without inhibition.
The main functions of the kindergarten are found underneath the oval roof. To promote social skills and remove any symbol of hierarchical structures or barriers, the kindergarten’s interior environment is free of walls. Rooms and spaces are divided in a casual manner by using light-weighted stacked furniture that children can easily reconfigure.