img.0 Masahiko Fujimori Architects has designed Sendai city’s morinoie nursery school. Image by Shigeo Ogawa.
The Japanese city of Sendai has recently experienced a period of urban redevelopment and additionally, population growth. Responding to the city’s needs, Masahiko Fujimori Architects has designed a colorful structure to house morinoie nursery school — inviting its young students into the light filled, comfortable learning space within. ‘We designed an ‘urban-style’ nursery school building that can efficiently accommodate increased numbers of children, while also encouraging their curiosity, creativity, and connection with the local community‘ the architects describe.
img.1 The colorful facade reflects the energy of the children and welcomes students into the space. Image by Shigeo Ogawa.
The site’s limited perimeter required the architects to build a multistory space. To connect the structure with the surrounding city, the street-facing facade is dotted with colorful, projecting window frames. The simple, house-like forms of the window bays were inspired by the elementary, block-house model often drawn by children. This form, universally recognized by the young and old is directly implemented into Masahiko Fujimori’s design for the new learning space, but reworked and reinterpreted to create a more complex design — fulfilling the school’s programs, but also maintain the comfort of the home.
img.2 The school was built in an area that has experienced major growth in recent years. Image by Shigeo Ogawa.
To promote a vibrant and encouraging atmosphere for its students and the surrounding city, the architects translated a child-like energy into the design. ‘We aimed to give the nursery school a warm atmosphere with wood materials and comfortable furnishings for the interiors,’ the architects state. ‘Meanwhile, the box frame type and reinforced concrete construction provide strength, safety and durability. The colorful bay windows communicate the energy and activity inside the building to the surrounding neighborhood, offering the site as a positive symbol for the town and a bond between the children and their local community.’
img.3 The facade motif is also reflected in the interior. Image courtesy of Masahiko Fujimori.
img.4 The window bays utilize the child-like symbol of a house. Image by Shigeo Ogawa.
img.5 The facade’s visual presentation inspires curiosity as children use the interior space to expand their creativity. Image by Shigeo Ogawa.
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