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The World’s Best Kindergarten

At Fuji Kindergarten outside Tokyo, kids make the most of a magical environment designed just for them. The roof of their oval-shaped school, designed by Tokyo-based firm Tezuka Architects, is an endless playground, and trees grow right through classrooms. He made everything  with the help and support of his wife. Their inspiration was their children.

The main thing that the architect did is that he thought like a kid. He  mentioned: “ I built to let children be children”.

The playground lets kids run forever

“We designed the school as a circle, with a kind of endless circulation.”


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Kids can slide to class

“We put in a small mound of dirt at the bottom of the stairs leading from the roof — this was a trick to make the stairs shorter. But then the children started taking away the dirt to make mud bowls — 6oo kids take mud away, and the mound started to disappear! The school had to keep asking the construction company to put mud back. (As the soil got harder, the kids stopped taking it home.)” 


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A chair can be a train

“Every month at Fuji the teachers and kids rearrange the classroom furniture. This little boy and girl were supposed to help make a new configuration, but they’re useless! They’re playing train instead.“


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Safety drills are super cute

“Japan gets ten percent of the world’s big earthquakes, so children have these earthquake drills. They take these cotton hats from under the table to protect their heads in case something falls. It’s a very Japanese thing.”


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