KFB Kindergarten and Nursery

HIBINOSEKKEI + Youji no Shiro incorporated the characteristics of a plateau landscape for KFB Kindergarten and Nursery in Japan, featuring dynamic play areas with slopes and climbing elements.

  • area / size 22,400 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • Location Kanoya, Japan,
  • A new nursery with a capacity of 90 children is built in Kanoya City, Kagoshima Prefecture. In Kanoya City, a pyroclastic flow from an eruption more than 20,000 years ago was deposited and formed the vast plateau of Shirasu. Based on the history that the nature-rich landscape has long been taken care of over centuries and the distinguishing characteristics of the landscape, this building incorporates such quality that the plateau uniquely offers.

    The most distinct feature is that the building is built on a plateau. The periphery of the building is dug around like a moat, creating a dynamic play area. The slopes from the moat induce up-and-down movements such as “climbing,” “descending,” and “rolling.” Such operations and movements of the body stimulate children’s curiosity and encourage the spontaneous and creative invention of play with the help of climbing nets, rock climbing, a built-up hill, a zip line, a sand pit, and a sloped swamp.

    Inspired by the Shirasu Plateau, the surface of the wall in the indoor dining hall is intentionally made uneven so that children can climb and interact with it. The picture book corner, which utilizes the narrow space next to the entrance, is designed to allow children to climb up the bookshelves. In so doing, their curiosity is peaked with an element of playfulness to the children’s movement of “finding and retrieving books by themselves”.

    By incorporating the features of the Shirasu Plateau, such as the difference in levels and unevenness, into various parts of the building, even a one-story building, which typically lacks in vertical transition, initiate up-and-down movement, thereby maximizing the amount of exercise and curiosity within children.

    Design: HIBINOSEKKEI + Youji no Shiro
    Photography: Ryuji Inoue