Kanagawa, Japan-based studio Hibinosekkei and its subsection Youji no Shiro, which specializes in facilities for children, have installed a tiny house-like structure within a kindergarten in Saga that is meant to foster the playing, of, well, house.
The firm, which has created approximately 350 spaces for children all over Japan during its 25-plus-year run—including these schools in Nagasaki, Saitama, and Kumamoto City—designed the structure to resemble a simple, gabled home.
Measuring 15 square meters (161 square feet), Ouchi, or “small house” in Japanese, features a mini kitchen, laundry room, fireplace, dining table, a skylit loft for reading or playing, and a boxed-in “outdoor patio” with additional seating—all made of unfinished pine.
Large window-like openings allow the children to connect to what’s going on outside of the house, which is set within the school’s open corridors. Half of the roof is also open, allowing natural light into the micro building.
The designers described their vision to Dezeen: “We are challenging the conventional methods and creating opportunities to increase the possibility of exploration and curiosity amongst children by keeping them in close contact with the [work being carried out by] adults.”