We saw this best kindergarten in Japan via TED talk several years ago. What a courageous try in architecture and philosophy!
Takaharu Tezuka is an architect, founder of Tezuka Architects, and Professor at the Tokyo City University. Tezuka and his wife built schools centered on trees, play areas created from interwoven wooden beams and hospitals that offer patients the healing gifts of joyous light and space. Tezuka received his undergraduate degree from the Musashi Institute of Technology and his graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Following four years at Richard Rogers, Tezuka founded Tezuka Architects with his wife Yui Tezuka.
Fuji Kindergarten is in Tachikawa, a city one hour west to Tokyo. It is a beautiful circle without boundaries between classroom or between inside and outside. There are about 600 children in the kindergarten. Inspired by his own children who love running in circles, Tezuka designed the shape as a circle, which surely burns a lot of energy from the children daily. It's all about openness including exposure to limited danger that helps children to learn from falling, getting injured as well as be more concentrated with noises around them.
The children at Fuji show much better developed athletic skills. They enjoy skylight in each classroom. They communicate at open water fountains and can ride on the ponies that the school raises on campus. This is the best environment that helps children connect with each other and live in a village or community together in real life. We look forward to seeing other great development as well.