At Home at School.

As a former student of a progressive elementary school known for its out-of-the-box thinking, I was immediately struck by the idea behind this Japanese nursery, which was designed to remind children of being at home. Meant to resemble "not a small school, but a big house," its designers were told to think of the space simply in relation to the daily activities of its pint-sized pupils — playing, snacking, running free — rather than as a building meant for educational instruction. 

The end result features cozy, muted classrooms (with not a chart or diagram or alphabet poster to be seen), and two smaller playgrounds as opposed to a single large one. Fascinating.

Photos by Yoshikazu Shiraki. Thanks, Dezeen.

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