Fuji Yochien (also known as Fuji Montessori Kindergarten) is a kindergarten school that is child-friendly and environmentally friendly and completed in 2007. The school is located in Tokyo, Japan.
Fuji Yochien is the largest kindergarten school in Japan, but people more often recognize it as the most beautiful and most child-friendly school because it is different from typical kindergarten schools. The types are mostly boring, standard and gray concrete walls. The students are children with age from 2-6 years.
This school applies the Montessori Method-a child-centered teaching method-to its educational process. Children who attend school are given the freedom to learn by exploring. Therefore the school building was deliberately designed without putting walls between rooms.
This particular form of school building seeks to support the work of kindergarten schools, using the Montessori method to provide flexibility, strength, and a secure framework for freedom and independence.
The building was designed by a Japanese architect, Takaharu Tezuka. Rather than impose physical limitations on children, Takaharu Tezuka designed the kindergarten school as a continuous space that allows children to freely learn and play.
He mentions his concept with “nostalgic futures”, where he can see how children to choose games naturally without gadgets and screens, then facilitates them with future plans.
The project has won the Moriyama RAIC International Prize award in 2017 and becoming a recognition of an architectural work that is considered “transformative in the context of society”. There is no play equipment installed there, the building itself functioned as a giant playground.
Children are given the freedom to move, even allowed to feel the fall and getting wet in a safe environment. According to Tezuka, children also need to feel the wound. It can make them learn how to live in this world. Therefore, some minor hazards are required to train them physically and mentally.
Fuji Yochien TK Building has a roof shaped like a donut cake, an oval circle with a hole in the middle. The roof covered the classrooms beneath it, also serves for playground and children’s exploration.
In addition, it can also be formally functioned for meetings and other public gatherings. This versatile roof is the main playroom of the school, providing space for children to run, jump and play on endless roads. This roof is very strong and can accommodate up to 500 children.
In addition to child-friendly, the school is also included in the list of eco-schools, which are schools whose buildings themselves are used as environmental education media. Fuji Yochien kindergarten built in an open environment, the roof of the building was deliberately made open so that children can freely play while learning to know nature.
The skylight is allowed to light up the roof deck, giving way to the natural light entering the classrooms beneath it. The use of glass and open air to make the interior bombarded with sunlight that connects children with the outdoors as they learn in the classroom.
The school also has five gargoyles that deliver rainwater into the waterhole. This causes the creation of an impromptu waterfall during the rainy season and is usually used as a playground for children.
The deck was also built around Zelkova trees that existed before the school stood. There are three main Zelkova trees and they are allowed to continue growing in the school area. Surprisingly there are no trees are fall apart even though some of them are in the classroom.
The 50-year-old tree is only lined with glass and wood around it. The trees become a favorite place for children to climb, so the school also equips the tree with a climbing rope for children to play during the break or after school.
On the ground floor, sliding doors allow open classrooms during good weather. Architects of this building prefer to make boxes in the size of a child instead of building a wall. The boxes are made of lightweight wood with circular edges that can be stacked to create shelves and show areas.
This beautiful building seeks to realize the imagination of small thinking as well as a place to learn and play. Apparently, the school can also be a fun place when built with the right design, especially while mixing with nature.
Familiarize yourself with nature and trained it from childhood to become a habit. If there is an innovative design that proves that school buildings can spoil their inhabitants and that schools are not always boring, one of them is Fuji Yochien kindergarten school.