Whimsical Preschool’s Courtyard Designed to Turn Rainfall into Giant Puddles for Kids to Play In

When it rains, children usually aren't allowed to go outside and gleefully jump in the puddles. At the new Dai-ichi Yochien preschool in Kumamoto City, Japan, however, rain is an integral part of the building's design. The courtyard of the school collects water so that after a downpour, there is a giant puddle that's just waiting for eager children to play in it.

Dai-ichi Yochien was designed by architecture firm Hibino Sekkei, and the ingenious courtyard is intended to do more than just collect rain water. On dry days, it can turn into a badminton or softball court. In the winter, it could even become a small ice skating rink. What a whimsical way to bring the outdoors inside!

Overall, the school has an open floor plan intended to foster learning in a flexible and unconstrained environment. Furniture acts as partitions for the space, and teachers are encouraged to mix up their classes. They also have a somewhat unconventional practice and ask students to purchase their own desk and chair. The kids keep it throughout their time at the school and eventually take it with them as they graduate. This keeps the decor fresh and, like their learning, continually growing and changing.

Hibino Sekkei: Website
via [Spoon and Tamago]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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