RAIN DOESN’T DAMPEN the children’s spirits at Hakusui Nursery School in Chiba, Japan. Instead they can rejoice as the water reservoir for the nursery’s own waterfall is topped up. Then it’s just a case of channelling the water in the guttering down into a pond that is perfect for splashing around in wellies. The waterfall also cools the sheet metal roof on hot days.
When the Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop was commissioned to design a nursery on the heavily sloping plot of 100 square metres, they wanted to bring the landscape into the building. The result was a terraced building with open spaces dominated by wood. The many angled pine beams give the interior the feel of a forest landscape, while also creating natural screens and allowing the space to be divided up for different activities, despite the open-plan layout.«