This kindergarten was designed to be incorporated in the scenery of an old fishing port which boasts the most beautiful sunset in Japan and which developed within the approaching mountains and the smell of the sea. People have a yearning for the touch and the aged look of wood. As for a functional plan, a play room was designed to be independent in an island style to increase the sense of interaction with the day care center. Since it is also used as a community center, differentiation from other wards was performed in terms of space and shape. We also attempted to create a sort of arbor appearance by openly installing windows all around the building. The pavilion roof has been commonly used for public facilities this town has promoted and has become sort of a local identity. Membranes are installed in the frame of a large quadrangular pyramid in the ceiling created by a large roof structure with no bearing walls in order to soften the light coming through the top light.
The quadrangular pyramid is illuminated like a snow cave at night for indoor lighting. The quadrangular pyramid which resembles a sprout coming through the roof or a core of a bulb suggests the sprouting of the children. On the fringes of the staff room and classrooms which adjourn around this play room, a corridor covered with a membrane structured shelter is built to create the continuity as a whole. As a semi-outdoor and vague middle field which links outdoor and indoor space, this area attempts to create a natural harmony between indoor and outdoor. There are still many children in this area who would not hesitate to dash outside barefooted.
When attention is paid to the details, a common image appears. Lighting devices, for example, are developed mainly using ship lights.
They have superior climate resistibility both indoor and outdoor, the cost is low and they have blended in well with the port scenery. Light membrane shelters have an image of fishing boats, and hooks for good haul flags are available for special events.
A rugged method of maintenance by layering white oil paint over old paint is also a good way of pursuing an image of the port. By growing up in the same environment as the adults, the children can share the same memories. We expect the children to discover the playground without being limited to the three major play tools of a slide, sandbox and horizontal bars.
A decrease in the number of children brought on the enlargement and advancement of the facility functions of this kindergarten. This facility plays an important role as a facility to nurture new memories and pride in the town.
Text by Hiroshi Innami 1997/8