Famous for its red-tiled houses and sake factories, the Japanese town of Saijo is home to Sakuragaoka Children Center designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates. The total area of the complex is 929 square meters and it is just astonishing.
Built to withstand condition, it seems that this whole complex is filled with warmth with wood becomes the main material for external and internal decoration. Kengo Kuma specifically chose this design to enable local craftsmen to showcase their skill and art of high craft.
The unique shape of the houses, designed according to the traditional Japanese principle of space arrangement, has been adapted to the function of the playrooms so that they contain as much air as possible.
Two long corner buildings flank the courtyard; There is also a free-standing gaming enclosure, where all furnishings and furniture are also made of plywood in a warm honey tone. The office focused on the maximum adaptability of all spaces: they can serve both for mass events and be zoned for classes in small groups.
Children are encouraged to learn about the history of local culture in a playful way. For example, the lamps were created from bags of rice, which is commonly used by local factories to make sake.
For the inside, the sake pack utilized in the nearby purpose distillery was reused as lighting, and the engineering was planned with the goal that kids can find out about the atmosphere while playing.
The playroom area is an enormous and brilliant space that utilizes a remarkable structure of a storage facility in Saijo’s private house, while the light radiates through the membrane rooftop.
Gallery of Sakuragaoka Children Center
Photography: Masato Yamaguchi