Pixy Hall by Moriyuki Ochiai
Architects

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A kindergarten play area shaped like a mountain surrounded by clouds has been completed by Japanese firm Moriyuki Ochiai Architects (+ slideshow).

Pixy Hall by Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

Part of Piccolino Kindergarten in the southern Japanese prefecture of Kanagawa, the space was created primarily for art education and as a multi-purpose room for concerts, performances, exhibitions and children's workshops.

Pixy Hall by Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

Children can explore by crawling over and around the brightly coloured wooden seats and through archways and small passages. When seats are pushed against the mountain they form steps, allowing children to clamber up the mountain shape through the clouds.

Pixy Hall by Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

The seats are also light enough to be picked up and stacked on top of or next to each other, creating new heights and spaces in the room.

Pixy Hall by Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

Architect Moriyuki Ochiai said he chose the triangular shapes because they were the most simple and suitable for children to use safely. "The size of the equipment is a unit on which two little children can be seated together so they feel close to each other and can naturally be friends," Ochiai told Dezeen.

Pixy Hall by Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

Ochiai also explained that the height difference between adults and children brings about different ways to perceive and enjoy the environment. "A surface used as a counter by adults appears as a consecutive arch over houses to children," he said.

Pixy Hall by Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

"From a kid's perspective, the mountain rises from the clouds changing gradually from white to brown, while adults looking down from the top of the mountain see clouds floating below," he added.

Pixy Hall by Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

Ochiai said he created the space to develop imagination, expression, communication and creativity skills for both adults and children. The renovated 90-square-metre floor space from an existing office building is in an area with lots of new housing projects where many families with young children live.

Pixy Hall by Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

Other kindergartens featured on Dezeen include a kid university with a courtyard of mulberry trees in Spain, a small wooden nursery in a public garden in Camden and a doughnut-shaped kindergarten in China.

See all our stories about kindergartens »
See more architecture and design in Japan »

Photography is by Atsushi Ishisda/Nacasa & Partners.

  • arch80

    Talk about child friendly materials and design – one slip or fall on the sharp edges and there you go. Aesthetics vs practicality – both should be taken into account.

  • Nobody2

    Check out the huge biceps on that 5 year old girl as she lifts those huge sharp dangerous blocks of death.