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  • Japanese Preschool's Open Layout Collects Rainwater, Encourages Play

    For them, learning is not confined in a walled classroom
  • After a heavy rainfall, would you let your child play in the flood? What if it's an intentional flood?

    The Dai-ichi Yochien preschool in Kumamoto City, Japan has intentionally designed their structure to “flood” whenever it rains. Kids love jumping in puddles and playing in shallow water, so why not embrace it? This story was reported by spoon-tamago.com.

    Inside the school structure is a courtyard designed to accumulate rain water. After a heavy downpour, a gigantic puddle forms and children can play in it, explained the lead architect Taku Hibino from Hibinosekkei+Youji no Shiro, an architecture firm that specializes in learning facilities for early education.

    Dai-ichi Yochien preschool

    When it’s dry, the courtyard can function as a badminton or softball court. In winter, the courtyard can be converted into an ice skating rink. The whole school is thoughtfully designed to have an open floorplan.

    Dai-ichi Yochien preschool


    To keep the school’s clean aesthetic, students purchase their own chairs and tables. They get to bring these home at the end of the school year.

    Dai-ichi Yochien preschool

    Children look through a glass wall to see what’s cooking in the kitchen.

    Dai-ichi Yochien preschool

    The bathroom keeps with the design of the structure; fresh and clean.  Combatting the preconceived notion that bathrooms are dark and scary, Hibinosekkei+Youji no Shiro has built other bathrooms in this fashion as well.

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    Dai-ichi Yochien preschool

    The school’s even beautiful at night as it’s illuminated by soft light.

    Dai-ichi Yochien preschool

    Photos from spoon-tamago.com.

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