Soichi Yamasaki's Japanese nursery features
house-shaped windows and faceted ceilings

| Leave a comment
 

Behind the house-shaped windows of this nursery extension in Kashiwa, Japan, architect Soichi Yamasaki has slotted small square rooms between octagonal play areas (+ slideshow).

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

Tokyo-based Soichi Yamasaki – whose past projects include a house with a playpen for dogs – designed the extension as a continuation of an outdoor corridor that lines one side of the nursery playground.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

The new building sits perpendicular to the existing structure and contains five playrooms, an office and a new entrance.



The rooms facing the playground open onto a loggia-like decked area, which is sheltered beneath an angular roof structure.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

To minimise the need for intrusive columns inside the building, the architect used a framework of vertical beams that branch out to form pentagonal and hexagonal surfaces.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

Square spaces, formed where the beams meet the ground, are used for storage or as additional play areas to supplement the main rooms on either side.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

"The small boxes not only support as a structure, but also contain necessary functions for nursing, such as a storage space for chairs and tables, restrooms, shoe cupboards and so on," said Yamasaki. "Children love such small spaces."

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

Slender columns at the corner of these spaces incorporate circular seats, where children can perch to change their shoes.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

Large spaces used as the main playrooms can be closed off with sliding doors if required, or left open so children can move freely around the building.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

The polygonal ceilings above the playrooms culminate in translucent square panels that allow natural light to penetrate and enhance the daylight entering through angular windows.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

LED light sources are integrated behind the translucent ceiling panels so artificial lighting appears from the same direction as natural light.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

The shape of the room helps to maintain ventilation within the nursery during the summer months, when warm air  is channeled towards the peak of the ceiling to be released through the roof lights.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

"In summer, warm air is discharged through the top lights, and fresh and cool air is provided from windows below," explained the architect.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

The building's exterior features the same angular aesthetic as the interior, with the external edges of the square walls protruding from the facade. This modular design means that further rooms could be added in the future.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki

Photography is by Kai Nakamura.

Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki
Ground floor plan - click for larger image
Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki
North-south section - click for larger image
Nursery in Kashiwa City by Soichi Yamasaki
East-west section - click for larger image