School in the Rain.

I've always loved stories about unconventional schooling facilities around the world, like this rainbow-colored primary school in Paris, and this soothing Japanese nursery designed to remind children of being at home. Today, I'm adding another to my archive with Kumamoto City's Dai-ichi Yochien, a preschool with a courtyard designed to encourage the accumulation of rain puddles. On sunnier days, children can use the space for sports; in the winter, it can be converted into a skating rink. Smart.

Another interesting tidbit: each student's family purchases his or her own desk and chair — a sweet souvenir of sorts, which is theirs to take home after they leave.

Thanks to GOOD for the heads-up. Photos by Ryuji Inoue courtesy of Hibino Sekkei.

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