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Former Warehouse is Converted Into Minimalist Kindergarten in Japan

There are no windows, but the translucent exterior allows sunlight to illuminate the space

Here’s another Japanese kindergarten that holds class in a creatively adapted, non-traditional structure. This time, an old warehouse forms the bones of this school in Ichihara, a satellite town of Tokyo and Chiba City.

Designed by Tokyo-based firm Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects—with help from Hibinosekkei and Youji No Shiro who also designed this shipping container kindergarten in Saitama—Fukumasu Base, as it’s called, was adapted from an existing warehouse that is now wrapped in a translucent "envelope."

Inside, a two-story structure made of a simple wooden frame features a series of irregularly-shaped platforms and open-plan spaces—akin to a very architectural jungle gym—that encourage children to explore and run around freely. The "inside-out" nature of the exposed beams on the ceiling and the walls is meant to stimulate the students’ imagination.

The free-flowing layout of Fukumasu Base incorporates classrooms, a cafe, and a traditional Japanese room. Meant to act as a community center in addition to a school, Fukumasu Base accommodates not only its current students, but also their families and graduates. Take a look around.