Fuji Kindergarten

Fuji Kindergarten, Tokyo - Japan, Tezuka Architects | Kashiwa Sato | Masahiro Ikeda
Construction year: 2007
Address: 7-1, Sangsa-cho, Tachikawa City | TOKYO | Japan | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 35.72202, 139.39036

Fuji Kindergarten (aka The Roof House) Tachikawa, Tokyo,Japan, is perhaps World’s Lowest Height Building of modern era.

With the kids in mind, the designers, Kashiwa Sato, Creative Director and Tezuka Architects, have kept the ceiling of kindergarten mere 2.1 metres (~6′ 10″). The ceiling may be low but the kindergarten is reportedly Japan’s largest single kindergarten with about 530 students.

Fuji Kindergarten which is shaped like a giant halo, has no inner walls, no dead ends, no outer walls. Inside space has been partitioned by racks and full sized sliding glass replaces outer walls on the inner and outer rings. The no-barrier concept not only allows total freedom to kids to move and mingle around but also provides free access to the inner and outer playgrounds. Even the roof is easily accessible and has slides. The inside furniture/furnishings have been scaled down to match the size of the kids.

This 183m external and 108m internal circumference oval kindergarten is designed for 560 children. Two 25m zelkova trees and one 15m zelkova tree shoot up through the roof deck.

Everything is designed for children in this kindergarten.
The height of the ceiling have been lowered to 2.1m.
The lowness of the roof means that the top of the roof is near to the underside of the roof.
The roof deck slopes toward the courtyard, so even if a person goes further back on the roof, their whole body is visible, right down to their feet.

In Fuji Kindergarten building there are no hidden places. Wherever you are, the entire garden can be viewed. The spaces extend with nothing being excluded.

Children run after and away each other with no dead ends on the oval roof.
Three large zelkova trees shooting up through the roof deck are favorable for children to climb.

This kindergarten building is used entirely open for two thirds of the seasons throughout the year.
The basic state of this building is with the windows open.
The sliding doors directly follow the distorted oval shape. With the ground surface and room interiors at almost the same level, and the distinction between where outside stops and where inside starts doesn’t apply. Even in the cold of midwinter, your bare feet won’t be cold if Korean stove-type air-conditioning has been installed throughout the building.

Our scheme is the “end of an era.” The end of an era is a treasure house of “joys” that have now been abandoned.The convenience of present era deprives children of sense. What we want to teach through this building is “common sense.” Common sense comprises those values of human society that are unchanging, even across eras. We think that the Fuji Kindergarten will be the same even after fifty years have passed.

⇒ Architecture Guide to TOKYO
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