MAD architects has completed its first project in japan, a sculptural space for children in the small town of okazaki. named the ‘clover house kindergarten’, the building was formerly a two-storey residence that had become too small to cater to the needs of its young users. the school’s setting presents views of the paddy fields and mountains beyond, elements characteristic of the aichi prefecture. the brief called for a modern educational institution where children could feel as comfortable as they do in their own homes, allowing them to grow and learn in a nurturing setting.

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-02
the building was formerly a two-storey residence
all images by fuji koji, apart from main image by rasmus daniel taun

 

 

as with its neighboring buildings, the 105 square meter property was first constructed as a standard prefabricated house. to minimize construction costs, MAD architects decided to recycle the existing wooden structure, incorporating it into the new design. consequently, the original frame is present throughout the main learning area. a series of translucent and enclosed spaces adapt to different teaching activities, while windows of various shapes allow sunlight to filter inside the building, creating ever-changing shadows designed to stimulate students’ curiosity and imagination.

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-02
a slide descends from the second floor of the building to an outdoor play area

 

 

like a piece of cloth draped over the building’s skeleton, a new skin wraps around the existing wooden structure. the signature pitched roof has been repurposed to create dynamic interior spaces, while recalling the building’s former residential use. both the façade and the roof utilize common soft materials, such as asphalt shingles. these provide waterproofing, while enclosing the entire structure in a sheath of paper-like pieces. a slide descends from the second floor of the building to an outdoor play area, adding to the scheme’s sense of playfulness.

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-02
the existing wooden structure has been incorporated into the new design

 

 

I think it’s important to create a homely atmosphere inside this kindergarten, so instead building a brand new building, we decide to keep the old wooden structure as the memory and the soul of the space, and work around it,’ explains ma yansong, founder of MAD architects. ‘we have designed the building from a child’s point of view, and the layout focuses on creating intimate and diverse spaces. we wanted to create a playful piece of architecture that would stay in the memory of the kids when they have grown up.’

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-02
a series of translucent and enclosed spaces adapt to different teaching activities

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-02
the original frame is present throughout the main learning area

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-02
the design is intended to make children feel comfortable and relaxed

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-02
an amphitheater-like space includes storage for books

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-02
windows of various shapes allow sunlight to filter inside the building

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-02
a new sculptural skin wraps around the existing wooden structure

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-02
asphalt shingles enclose the entire structure in a sheath of paper-like pieces

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-02
the façade and the roof utilize common soft materials

MAD-architects-clover-house-kindergarten-house-okazaki-aichi-japan-designboom-14
the school’s setting presents views of the paddy fields and mountains beyond

 

drawings

 

project info:

 

location: okazaki, aichi, japan
typology: kindergarten
status: completed
site area: 283 sqm
building area: 134 sqm
total floor area: 300 sqm
directors: ma yansong, yosuke hayano, dang qun
design team: takahiro yonezu, yukan yanagawa, hiroki fujino, julian sattler, davide signorato
client: clover international school
constructor: kira construction inc.
structural engineer: takuo nagai

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news