emmanuelle moureaux's kindergarten in japan uses shikiri to divide space using playful colors

emmanuelle moureaux's kindergarten in japan uses shikiri to divide space using playful colors


after coining the word ‘shikiri’, meaning ‘to divide space using colors’, french architect emmanuelle moureaux‘s modus operandi can be found in the majority of her works. ‘I use colors as three-dimensional elements, like layers, in order to create spaces – not as a finishing touch applied on surfaces’ explains moureaux. in her latest project, creche ropponmatsu kindergarten in fukuoka, the multi-colored façade creates a welcoming atmosphere for students and faculty alike. the kindergarten holds a capacity of 90 children aged 0 to five years old.

the school’s façade uses 22 different colors using varying ‘branch’ lengths



emmanuelle designed the architecture, interior space, logos and graphical signage, with a vision to open a new kindergarten where children can grow up freely in mind and body. the façade itself is home to 22 colors, used in 63 multi-colored trees that are 4 m in height, extend the branches rhythmically and wrap around the building. while the glass-clad structure reveals a sense of openness, the playful multi-colored ‘branches’ visually protect the children in a gentle gesture. in the nursery room, 200 colorful boxes in 25 colors are lined up on the wall, where each one of them belongs to every child in order to stock their personal goods.

emmanuelle moureaux incorporated color in order to create a three-dimensional element to her projects



the stairs that connect the four floors uses 18 colors, as the colors of wall changes as the children travel up and down the stairs. the colorful trees are also incorporated in the logo of the kindergarten. spending time in a colorful environment maximizes the sensitivity of children and brings out the personality of every child. 

the colorful school hidden behind traditional japanese homes

details of the trees

in addition to the building and interior, moureaux designed the logo and signage of the school

instead of looking at the city’s concrete jungle, the children peer into a visually pleasing windowpane

the boxes belongs to every child according to the different colors

an overview of the school’s interior

the stairs that connect the four floors uses 18 colors, as the colors of wall changes as the children travel up and down the stairs


project info:


architect/designer: emmanuelle moureaux (emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design)
space design/sign design: emmanuelle moureaux (emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design)
photograph: daisuke shima
client: kusagae-en social welfare corporation
location: 2-15-5 kusagae, chuo-ku, fukuoka city, fukuoka, 810-0045 japan
use: kindergarten (capacity 90 children)
structure: steel structure
site area: 417.48 sqm
floor area: 697.40 sqm

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