The former nursery in Yonago, Japan despite being surrounded by a rich nature environment, was far from sensuous. During the significant and delicate time children grow, their environment should be as changable and filled with potential as nature. Children should be able to feel, find and explore in order to grow both mentally and physically - which was considered into the new nursery's design concept: "Feel Nature, Grow Sensitivity".
With that in mind, Youji no Shiro incorporated the nature around the site inside the nursery, providing many textures to stimuli the children and to increase their sensitivity. They focused on local natural resources to ensure the materials are meaningful towards the children's development. Senuous materials were reseourced locally to help aid physical and mental development, whilst local and reusable materials were used to teach the children about where they live and how to take care of things.
As touching the natural materials can be a good influence on the children's development, each wooden floor is made from different types of trees in various shapes and layouts, and four kinds of metal was used to create the floor signs with different senses of touching. Feeling many diverse natural materials will assist with growing their imagination and brain development.
At the entrance, the mud of the wall, the rocks surrounding the building and the wooden handrails are made locally, with the class sign designed from a traditional fabric, allowing the children many opportunities to discover more about the Yonago setting. Some of the rocks come from concrete waste from the demolition of the former building and the floor, wall and ceiling of the after-school day care center - built next to the nursery - are materials from the olde nursery. By reusing the materials, people can recall the old scenery and show children how things can be given new life if taken care of.
Youji no Shiro is an architectural design team, dedicated to spaces for children, such as nurseries, kindergartens, commercial facilities and gardens for children. To find out more, click here.
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