Yutaka Kindergarten is built on a steady philosophy of play-based education, encouraging children to develop their thinking actively. Space that offer diversity of experiences by stimulating children to explore and develop their thinking was required to practice such education policy. In order to respond to its needs, we traced the word “kindergarten” to its origin – “children’s garden” – and converted the site into mosaic-like collection of gardens for diverse activities of children. Three approaches were adopted to realize the ‘gardens of learning through play’.

First approach is the design of density. The furniture, walls, and playground equipment are distributed inside and outside, carefully designed to create three different gardens with different densities – ‘Garden of Motion’, ‘Garden of Stillness’, and ‘Garden with a Roof’.The three gardens are developed seamlessly on the site, which allows children of different age and body capabilities to coexist, interact, or be separated.

Secondly are the mountain-like walls. The structural walls with openings on the upper half are placed like layers, creating diverse light, colors, spaciousness and relationships between the loosely separated classrooms. The layers are aimed to induce children’s motion by controlling children’s views, where in some places they are blocked, and in some places they are open. Although children’s views range according to its coordinates, the openings on the walls with a certain scale allow the adults’ views to be open at all times as a matter of management.

The last is the gloss finished ceiling. The exterior environment are planned to become a forest of biodiversity to contribute to the education program, and as they change their expression every season and also during the day,the ceiling reflects and absorbs them to the interior.

It is essential to perceive the transitions of natural environment as infants generate and expand their perception. Moreover, by observing the motion of others that reflect on the ceiling, children are encouraged to understand the sense of distance between people, establishing their behavior in society. Variety of gardens expanded indoors and outdoors, stimulates human instincts to search for adequate environment, developing infant perceptions and experiences. The mixture of play that children are provided passively and play that children discover actively, is the very environment to educate infants through experience and creation.

Data Sheet
  • Architect
    SUGAWARADAISUKE (Daisuke Sugawara, Masayuki Harada, Noriyuki Ueakasaka, Hiroshi Narahara)
  • Structure Design
  • Facility Design
  • Planting Design
    GA Yamazaki
  • Scheme of Sign
    Masaki Hanahara
  • Constructor
    Okaken Koji Co., Ltd.
  • Photo
    Jeremie Souteyrat
  • Location
    Tokyo, JAPAN
  • Design Period
    Oct. 2012 – Oct. 2013
  • Construction Period
    Oct. 2013 – Apr. 2015 (Aug.2014-building completed)
Prize & Media

2021KENCHIKUsan(Web magazine) / JAPAN

2020Selected Architectural Designs of the Architectural Institute of Japan 2020 (AIJ) / JAPAN

2020Selected Landscapearchitectural Designs of the Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture 2020 (JILA) / JAPAN

2019Public Facility Design for Community!(PIE International) / JAPAN

2019Bamboo(Web Magagine) / JAPAN

2017Selected / Selected Architectural Designs of the Architectural Institute of Japan 2017 (AIJ) / JAPAN

2016archiposition (Web Magazine) / CHINA


2016arcdog (Web Magazine) / Switzerland

2016Frame #108 (Frame Publish) / NETHERLANDS

2016ARQA (web magazine) / ARGENTINA

2015PREMIUM JAPAN (web magazine) / JAPAN

2015Mydesy (web magazine) / TAIWAN

2015Design for Asia Award 2015 Bronze Prize (Hong Kong Design Centre)/ HONG KONG

2015gooood(web magazine) / CHINA

2015Archello(web magazine) / NETHERLANDS

2015 Architizer(web magazine) / USA

2015BauNetz (web magazine) / GERMANY

2015三开間.com(web magazine) / CHINA

2015designboom(web magazine) / UK

2015archdaily(web magazine) / CHILE

2015AecCafe(web magazine) / USA

2015Domus(web magazine) / ITALY

2015 ibanana(web magazine) / CHINA

2015 Archilovers(web magazine) / ITALY

2015Nikkei Architecture 2015/09/10 (Magazine) / JAPAN

2015Nikkei MJ 2015/04/29 (Nikkei) / JAPAN

2015 Shinkenchiku 2015/04 (Shinkenchiku) / JAPAN

2015Japan Architect (web magazine) / JAPAN

2014Japan Architect (web magazine) / JAPAN


2014kenplatz / JAPAN