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Elle Decor Italia

Kid-tailored architecture of Japanese inspiration: here’s where

Discover three Japanese nursery schools with an eye for contemporary style and interior design


A few examples of Japanese kindergartens where kids live side by side with functionality, nature and design. Shown above, The Clover House in Okazaki. Photo by Fuji Koji

Japan takes architecture for children quite seriously. In recent times, infant schools have been especially built in kid-scale so to adapt typical Nipponese contemporary architecture to young kids’ needs.

Waiting for Italy to be next, let’s have a look to three Japanese kindergartens which blend a strong aesthetic sense with high functionality tailored on young children.

Clover House Kindergarten

Photo: Fuji Koji

Located in the small town of Okazaki, in the Aichi Prefecture, The Clover House Kindergarten is an old country house with pre-existing timber structure surrounded by paddy fields and mountains. Based on a project by MAD Architects, it is now an infant school radiating the most homey of all atmospheres.

Photo: Fuji Koji

According to studio founder Ma Yanking, the main goal was “to create a playful piece of architecture that would stay in the memory of the kids when they have grown up.” The Clover House is topped by a pitched roof-shell meant to generate dynamic and welcoming interior spaces.


Hakusui Nursey School

Hakusui Nursery School

Interaction is the name of the game of such infant school in Sakura, enveloped by forests and mountains in the Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Architects of Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop designed the interior layout to resemble a large set of wooden stairs echoing the immediate natural surroundings.

Photo: Naoomi Kurozumi

The whole structure also allows for great ventilation thanks to large sliding window frames so that kids are provided with maximum comfort: a place where 3 and 5-year old children can interact in a wide, one-room space as if it was an extended family. As architects describe it, this is nothing but “ a large, large home”.

Photo: Naoomi Kurozumi

A small pond in front of the entrance is conceived to make kids interact with the natural environment too.  


Toranoko Nursery School

Casting breath-taking views of Mt. Fuji, the architecture by studio Takashige Yamashita seems to mimic the surrounding mountain landscape through the gentle curvature of the monumental roofs. 

Photo: Kenichi Suzuki

This infant school features a nursery to take care of the children and a lounge area for having a tea and letting adult locals from the small community of Yamanashi socialise.

Photo: Kenichi Suzuki

The roofs generate a sequence of environments dedicated to different functions: covered garden, lounge, lunchroom and kindergarten, with all rooms unfolding in a highly functional, dynamic and interconnected spatial path.


Pareti colorate per un polo scolastico a Montpellier
 Una nursery per bambini nel verde
 Il design per i bambini
→ 12 giochi in legno creati da 12 designer
→ Lettini per bambini: design, sicurezza e funzionalità



by Paola Testoni / 13 April 2017


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