Kashimada Nursery | Terrain Architects

Terrain Architects,Release Time2024-01-18 10:20:00

Project information

Project Name: Kashimada Nursery

Completion Year: 2022

Gross Built Area: 1219.06m2

Project Location: Shimohirama 1-10, Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan

Program / Use / Building Function: Nursery 

Lead Architects: Ikko Kobayashi + Fumi Kashimura / TERRAIN architects

Structural Design: Ryotaro Sakata Structural Engineers

Equipment Design: Architectural Energy Research Institute

Landscape Design: HUMUS

Contractors: Satohide Corporation 

Photo Credits: Yuichi Higurashi (photo 1- 20)

                         Shinkenchiku-sha (photo sk2210-1, sk2210-2)

Photographer’s Website:

Office Name: TERRAIN architects

Office Website:

Social Media Accounts: Facebook - TERRAIN_architects

Instagram – terrainarchitects

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Firm Location: Japan

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This nursery project is located in Kashimada, an area in the suburbs of Tokyo, known for attracting many families with children, adjacent to an industrial zone surrounded by residential towers. The site sits between a busy road and a pedestrian path full of greenery in great use by the locals, and is surrounded by different public facilities such as a fire station, waterworks bureau, and housing estates. The two stories wooden building was constructed in a former water distribution facility site, avoiding the circular foundation remains of the surge tank. From the adjacent green pathway featuring large deciduous trees and benches, one can experience the sight of children playing in the playground, activities taking place on the terrace, and the interaction between parents and children during drop-off and pick-up time, where from the nursery, one can observe the elderly individuals taking walks and children from other nurseries on their stroll. It aims to become a nursery which would inherit the past history while developing with the local community.

© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi

Through our experience of undertaking several projects in Uganda, where standard material dimensions are limited, we have realized that the specific dimensions of wooden structures we derived from Ugandan standards (3 meters, 4.5 meters and 5 meters) could also prove effective in nursery architecture. After spending an extended period with young children, we found that the specific dimension/area created by the combination of 8 tatamis (hachijyo-ma) matched well with their body size and their movement close to the floor. Each nursery rooms are consisted of four of these hachijyo-mas surrounding the central pole column, shifted for 3,640mm (length created by two tatamis; futa-ma) from each other, forming a windmill plan.

© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi

This sequence of futa-mas creating a gentle space, felt like an essential dimension that resonates with the sensory experience in the field of childcare.

 Furthermore, each four nursery rooms share a room referred to as the “Junk-Box”. This is a space that inherits the essence of the teaching materials storage from the public nursery school, before relocation. It is a space where small dimensions accumulate, such as mechanisms for easily taking out stationeries and picture books from both inside and outside the storage area, as well as heights that are visible to children but not within their reach. In addition, other services such as toilets are also included in this space, and it will also function as a pathway connecting two nursery rooms.

© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi

The whole structure consists of two buildings with a windmill-like, single-sloped roof connected at the center, having an entrance on the ground floor and a space for reading picture books on the first floor joining the two buildings.

© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi© Yuichi Higurashi

The configuration consists of two buildings in the same size connected by a narrow section. Each building is structurally independent applying the same structural mechanism. By strategically placing load-bearing walls around the “Junk-Box”, which functions as a storage space or a core service space, a space has been created where one can experience the connection between outdoors and indoors, as well as between gardens, pathways, and nursery rooms. Instead of confining the movement of children with immovable walls, the presence of the framework is utilized in way that gently suggests movements and places, using structural elements such as logs and beams. 

© Shinkenchiku-sha

© Shinkenchiku-sha

Detail plan © Terrain ArchitectsElevation © Terrain ArchitectsPlan 1F © Terrain ArchitectsPlan 2F © Terrain ArchitectsSection © Terrain Architects

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