Leimondo Nursery School by
Archivision Hirotani Studio

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Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Pyramidal chimneys perforated by square windows draw light into the playrooms of a Japanese nursery by Archivision Hirotani Studio.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Top: photograph by Archivision Hirotani Studio

The pointed skylights provide the single-storey Leimondo Nursery School with high ceilings in each of the seven playrooms, as well as in the children's bathroom.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Openings of assorted shapes create windows and doors through the internal walls of the nursery.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

A chair has been mounted on the ceiling of one playroom, whilst five differently coloured clocks line the wall of another.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Located in the city of Nagahama, the nursery provides daycare for children up to the age of five.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Other preschools featured on Dezeen in recent months include a Japanese school filled with overlapping arches and an Italian kindergarten split into house-shaped blocks - see all our stories about nurseries and kindergartens here.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

See also: a shimmering copper-clad beauty parlour also designed by Archivision Hirotani Studio.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Photography is by Kurumata Tamotsu, apart from where otherwise stated.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Here are some more details from Archivision Hirotani Studio:


The “Leimondo” Nursery School in Nagahama

This nursery school for children, from years zero to five years, stands on the outskirts of Nagahama city in Shiga prefecture.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

The school has been planned as a single-storey structure with a feeling of transparency between each of the spaces as well as the exterior landscape and, the “House of Light”,as we call it, has been placed in the main nursery area.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

What we mean by the “House of Light” are conical, square light-wells of different shapes, different color and facing different directions in the high ceiling bringing in various “lights” into the interior space, changing with the time and the seasons.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

The children may be able to feel the changes of these “lights”, even chase them and play with them, and to enjoy this gift of “light” in their daily activities.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Above: photograph by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Furthermore, the shape of the “House of Light” may be seen from the outside as its unique silhouettes are outlined against the almost unchanging rural scenery, providing it with a little more character.

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Project Name: Leimond-Nagahama Nursery School
Location: Nagahama, Shiga, Japan
Use: Nursery School

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Site Area: 5625.40 m²
Building Area: 690.99 m²
Gross Floor Area: 600.73 m²

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Building Scale: 1 story
Structure: Steel
Maximum Height: 9.055 m²

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Design Year: 2010
Completion Year: 2011

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Architect: Hirotani Yoshihiro and Ishida Yusaku / Archivision Hirotani Studio
Client: Social Welfare Corporation Lemonkai

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Structural Engineers: Umezawa structural engineers
Mechanical Engineers : Azu planning
General Contractors: K.K.Okuda Koumuten

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

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Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio

Click above for larger image

  • yuc

    Loved chimneys.
    it is not only about this building but now I know that Japanese architecture has an issue with wood-cladded interiors. I think it's time to criticize this. Floors are ok but walls, I'm not sure. It is a consumptive trend (probably because of cheap timber from Russia, I don't know) which is usually ignored because of its "natural" look. I prefer caring ideas like Shigeru Ban's use of recycled paper. It seems like new generation of Japanese architects don't like self-restriction or big ideas anymore.

    • H-J

      Where do you think the paper is made from that Shigeru Ban recycles?

    • morgs77

      It is actually possible to grow timber sustainably. It also has a positive effect in relation to mean radiant temperature when used as interior panelling in cold climates, which can make a building more comfortable and thus potentially reduce its energy load. There's more to it than merely what it looks like!

    • http://www.marco-lammers.nl Mks

      This is pine-wood. Fast growing soft-wood produced in production forests. It's like eating lettuce: for every crop harvested a crop is planted.

      • yuc

        I dont think that can be done if the Chinese start using timber everywhere, then the Indians, then the Pakistanis, Indonesians, Brasilians, etc.

        • morgs77

          If they use sustainably grown products such as bamboo flooring and laminated veneer lumber made from ash (and other quick growing timbers), then the more the better for the environment. Pine and western red cedar are OK too. If greater use these products creates a net increase in the number of trees on the planet, then there will be more oxygen and less carbon dioxide as a result. Destroying old growth forests is abominable, but the timber industry is not all bad. Better sustainable timber products than carpets or ceramics for the environment I reckon.

          • yuc

            yes it sounds perfect in theory. I built in wood and I love the material. I don't see a relationship between the issues of sustainability and the over-use of a material. This is not a technical issue, its ethical and it covers any material on earth, from hamburgers to coconuts.

          • 010

            using the right material is only part of a green sustainable building.
            Orientation of building, window openings, building envelope all contribute to it.
            If they timber they use is from the region, they not only saving energy for material transport, but also keeping the jobs of local worker and farmer. What is it so unethical about using wood? It seems you have doubt about he source of the material. Don't we can just criticize it being unethical without knowing the fact.

  • Goose 2

    Timber clad walls or plasterboard clad walls – something has to go up. I don't personally see a problem. Timber looks attractive and if its from a managed source it is probably more sustainable than the process of manufacturing plasterboard. Also don't forget that Japan has strong tradition of working with timber.

    • yuc

      This is nothing to do with tradition. That's the point. There is already a wall on which the wooden panles are pasted, don't you see. Wood instead of a coat or two of paint! There is no idea there, just "oh this is cool!"

  • Martin Rose

    The group of clocks and the chair high on a side wall and similar gimmicks are cute for the parents, but designers of child care centers need to be cognizant that the child's perception of their environment does not extend this high. I prefer to spend my client's money down where it impacts the kids.

  • http://www.joelharding.ca Joel H

    If you’re bad you have to sit in the ceiling chair.

  • yuc

    As I started this controversy, I would like to end my "unpopular" views with a few remarks about sustainability, if Dezeen allows me to.

    Steering the direction of consumerism toward positive results is the funny mythology of sustainability. It is without philosophy for the time being, because it lacks an ethical background. We must re-learn how to find existential meanings in life outside consuming.

    Excess in using materials, even if something good like oxygen is produced in the meanwhile, means more money to be gained, therefore more business, more production, more machines, more transportation and more energy sources, all of which result in a bigger hole in the stratosphere which means all the global troubles everybody is aware of. In such a process, the good cannot be seperated from the bad.

    The ideology of sustainability which may construe as "we can keep on consuming joyfully knowing that scientific and consciencious orientation of the production will preserve the sources and may even make the world a better place" is the poorest ideology ever existed.

    I'm afraid we'll all see it failed in our life times.

    • morgs77

      Unfortunately the world has a rapidly growing population and the provision of basic shelter and human amenities is something there is a great deficit of in many countries, both in the developed world and in emerging nations. It is not merely an issue of frivolous consumerism – housing is a necessity and should be viewed as a basic human right. Less is not a valid option (especially in Japan).

      Promoting sustainably produced and recycled materials in construction is a big part of how architects can contribute to the challenge of environmentalism, and sustainable timber products are among the best because of the beneficial effects on the atmosphere of growing more trees!