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A small yet boldly inviting centre in Japan that uses an existing building

Japanese (and early childhood specialist) architects HIBINOSEKKEI and Youji no Shiro are at it again with the MK-S Nursery - a small (160sqm) centre that inhabits an existing residence and disused 2-storey shop.

Restoring the existing fabric of the building with new ply internal linings and a perforated "starry" metal screen with house and square shaped windows the result is a tidy and yet fun new building for the community's young children.

The low-grade (so cheap) plywood lining walls are thickly framed - allowing deep silled windows to sit in/on and for dividing walls to contain functional storage.

Note the deep sills in which kids can climb up onto and look out at the street. The "hidden" door clad in the same ply and made flush is a clever detail also.

The palette is simple - with ply lining, some painted with shades of blue, engineered timber flooring and plasterboard ceilings - yet rich and warm.

It is a fine example of how to convert an existing dwelling with seemingly little effort into a rich and inviting space for young children.

Via TrendHunter.

A school in Brazil that embodies the idea of the architecture as playing a vital role in learning

The Wish School in Brazil serving children aged 2 to 4 years of age is passionate about children's' learning - and has, since January been awarded by the Edumission Challenge as one of the 10 most innovative educational institutions in the world.

Spaces of welcome and retreat or reflection are included.

"Education is a process of transformation, of inner growth, in which we discover the world around us and the world discovers us as well. Education is an exchange, a subjective process lived in the moment in which each one perceives himself learning something new"   (Eduardo Shimahara)

Their belief is that education must be approached holistically - that is encompassing all elements of the individual child - emotional, social, cultural, creative, physical and spiritual. 

It was thus important for the environment (or architecture) to reflect or or enable the educators and students to "act out" and inhabit this vision to its full potential.

Rotational furniture "pods" inhabit many functions - from dividing space to containing storage and elements of play (with curtains for puppet shows).

The architects collaborated with both students and teachers to define the brief and ensure the architecture reflects their powerful pedagogy.

Designed by Grupo Garoa Architects the resulting architecture is a unique example of an intensive collaboration between the educator and their pedagogy (or educational vision), the children (or students) themselves and the designers.

Careful consideration was paid to the building's transitional spaces (i.e. inside to outside) - creating memorable experiences when traveling from one space to another.

A variety of textural surfaces and materials are used indoors and out to enrich the childrens' learning.

The architects worked within an existing shed-like and industrial building "container" - in which to "house" the pedagogical elements of "rooms" or room-dividing elements. Rather than using traditional walls, ceiling and floors, zones were created through the use of informal furnishing "pods" which are cleverly fixed to the building's structural beams and are allowed to move or rotate as the spatial needs of the spaces are determined.

Natural lighting is used to its fullest potential through the use of internal courtyards and atriums with skylights over.

A variety of spaces cater for all types of learning - from group collective work to more individual or quiet.

Physical and social interaction is encouraged with the diverse spatial arrangements, the many connecting stairs and atriums and blurred internal to external boundaries (with bountiful natural gardens, natural light wells, and courtyards).

Via ArchDaily.


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