called ‘ouchi’, this small house for kids has been inserted by architectural practice HIBINOSEKKEI + youji no shiro into a kindergarten in japan. with a total area of 15.16 sqm and constructed in wood, the program called for a structure where children could develop their creativity through role playing. with this in mind, the studio proposed to break away from the existing toys and kindergarten typology and to design a space in sync to their belief of roleplaying, where kids can imitate their parents and their real world activities.

‘ouichi’ is located inside a kindergarten in saga, japan
all images by HIBINOSEKKEI + youji no shiro



‘ouchi’ — house in japanese — by HIBINOSEKKEI + youji no shiro is a place to bring up children’s innovation and imagination through various role-playing activities. through the use of the kitchen, table, laundry and wood stove, the kids may enact their parents by preparing meals, decorating the table, doing dishes and even turning the heater on and washing clothes. furthermore, the studio brought the children to the site during the construction of the structure to give them a firsthand touch-and-feel experience of a carpenter’s job.

the concept aims to aid children in developing their creativity through role playing



‘the existing toys and playground equipment are produced to cope with the law of product liability, and hence fashioned cautiously towards customer security and spoon fed guidance,’ comments HIBINOSEKKEI + youji no shiro. ‘this inhibits the creativity and curiosity amongst children, by making things straight and clear and hence eradicating the possibility of exploration. to handle the situation well, our design is based on this essential concept, where children could continuously create challenges and growth.’

inside the mini house, children can imitate their parents and their real world activities



the ‘ouchi’ project challenges conventional education methods by creating opportunities that increase the possibilities of exploration and curiosity by keeping them in close contact with adult jobs. the concept believes it’s essential to allow children to explore the ‘ouchi’ with full freedom and less direct interference from teachers.

the house includes a kitchen, table, laundry, and wood stove

the kids were able to get a firsthand experience of a carpenter’s job while the project was under construction

the kitchen is equipped with frying pans, cutlery, cups, toaster, rice cooker, chopping board, pots and a refrigerator

children can do the dishes

kids can even turn on the heater when it’s cold

the concept believes it’s essential to allow children to explore the ‘ouchi’ with full freedom

teachers maintain themselves out of the house so they don’t interfere with the children’s games

the small house for kids has a total of 15.16 built square meters



project info:


project name: ouchi –small house for kids
location: saga, japan
firm: HIBINOSEKKEI + youji no shiro + kids design labo
photography: hibinosekkei + youji no shiro
building date: february 2017
total floor area (gross floor area): 15,16 sqm
construction: wood (some of part with loft)