The Dai-Ichi Yochien preschool building in Kumamoto City in southern Japan has a special innovation that lets ‘kids be kids’ – a courtyard that collects rainwater into one giant, clean puddle that kids can stomp and splash through.
Instead of shuttering kids when it rains, this preschool invites them to play. When it’s not raining, the space can be used as a sports yard, and can even be converted into a skating rink in the winter. The school’s open plan encourages the mixing and rearrangement of classes, thereby fostering creative thought and management by the school’s staff.
The preschool was designed by Youji No Shiro, an architecture, interior and furniture design firm for kids run by the Hibino Sekkei architecture firm.