JPP Nursery / HIBINOSEKKEI + Youji no Shiro + Kids Design Labo
Text description provided by architects. Based on the concept of “a facility that learns from the community and embraces diversity,” JPP Nursery is a newly established employer-sponsored childcare facility located in Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture. Tsuruga was once a thriving port that served as a trading center linking Asia, Europe, and various regions of Japan. It was a place where people and goods from different islands and regions mixed. JPP Nursery, located in such a location, serves three purposes: day care, after-school care, and child care after illness. The age range of children attending this facility ranges from 0 to 18 years, and both children with and without disabilities spend their time together in the same facility.
In modern society, the promotion of an “inclusive society” is encouraged, where individuals can recognize and accept differences in others. It is important to build relationships based on empathy and mutual support within an environment that promotes inclusivity, regardless of the presence of disabilities. Comprehensive child care facilities have been established, and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is actively promoting comprehensive child care. However, concerns remain about issues such as teacher shortages and bullying by children without disabilities, and current implementation is limited to certain areas. In response, JPP Nursery aims to create a space where every function is carried out, allowing children to experience the local community in which they were born and raised and promoting mutual understanding.
Located near Tsuruga Port, the nursery building features a pyramid-shaped terrace inspired by the port’s lighthouses. This serves as a space for children to play together, encourage different activities and increase their physical movements. Common areas include three types of clay walls made from local soil. Outdoor tiles and flooring include colors and patterns inspired by local buildings and plants. The fixtures, frames and furniture are randomly colored to represent a sense of mixing. This expresses the idea of children ‘mingling together’ and creates opportunities for them to see, touch and try different materials, enhancing their connection and familiarity with the local area. The community space, connected to each room, features clay wall mazes and a picture book corner, stimulating children’s curiosity as they play and learn together.
The orientation and training room, which tends to be closed, is designed with a large opening on the street side, allowing children to see the city and community activities. The lunch room, which connects to the outdoor court, has fully openable doors, allowing a view of the greenery of nearby Hikawa Shrine. This provides an open and fun space for children and allows them to connect with the surrounding environment and residents.
In this environment where children can recognize and accept differences while developing a sense of empathy and consideration for others, they can also communicate with different individuals and explore the history and materials of the community. JPP Nursery becomes a place where children can respect and appreciate each other, promote personal growth and feel connected to the surrounding community.
(Tags for translation)Architecture