Kindergarten in Japan is made from recycled marine shipping containers to teach kids about sustainability

Hibinosekkei + Youji No Shiro, Ogura Asahi Kindergarten, sustainable education, eco education, sustainable architecture, sustainable kindergarten, eco-friendly kindergarten, sustainable schools

HIBINOSEKKEI+Youji no Shiro

HIBINOSEKKEI+Youji no Shiro is a Japanese Architectural Firm that specializes in creating amazing schools for young children, such as kindergartens, nurseries and daycare facilities. The firm, having been hired to upgrade Ogura Asahi’s earthquake code, decided that they’d go above and beyond. The firm states that their main theme of the school would be to teach children about fossil fuels and to educate on how resources should be valued and used sparingly. To accomplish their main goal, the architects used recycled marine shipping containers to reinforce earthquake resistance instead of new building materials.

Hibinosekkei + Youji No Shiro, Ogura Asahi Kindergarten, sustainable education, eco education, sustainable architecture, sustainable kindergarten, eco-friendly kindergarten, sustainable schools

Teaching children to hug trees

The architects took great care not to disturb or remove any standing trees during the design process. Instead they designed around the trees, leaving them in places where children could touch, see and enjoy them. The goal here, according to the architects, was to teach the children to consider their global environment and to provide “ecological education with continuation of memory.”

Hibinosekkei + Youji No Shiro, Ogura Asahi Kindergarten, sustainable education, eco education, sustainable architecture, sustainable kindergarten, eco-friendly kindergarten, sustainable schools

The sustainable gym

The earthquake resistance was reinforced but renovations were made by using the existing structure. The architects note that they intended to help the children realize that they used reconstruction methods vs. new construction by leaving the existing form of the roof intact.

Hibinosekkei + Youji No Shiro, Ogura Asahi Kindergarten, sustainable education, eco education, sustainable architecture, sustainable kindergarten, eco-friendly kindergarten, sustainable schools

Saving resources

By building with recycled materials which is not only a lesson in saving resources, but also saves energy and reduces carbon dioxide, the architects were attempting (and likely succeeding) in teaching the children to use all their limited resources carefully.

Hibinosekkei + Youji No Shiro, Ogura Asahi Kindergarten, sustainable education, eco education, sustainable architecture, sustainable kindergarten, eco-friendly kindergarten, sustainable schools

Openness

By opening up the nursing room and teachers’ room so that they now faced the great outdoors, the architects allow everyone, children and adults, to feel what is going on inside each room even when they’re outside. Additionally, the open air concept allows people in the neighborhood to feel what is going on inside the kindergarten when they pass by.

Hibinosekkei + Youji No Shiro, Ogura Asahi Kindergarten, sustainable education, eco education, sustainable architecture, sustainable kindergarten, eco-friendly kindergarten, sustainable schools

A school where you can feel the difference

The architects purposefully allowed the roughness of the containers outside in order to let the young children find the container easily, whereas wood was used on the interior to allow for a feeling of warmth, noting that the youngsters, “can feel the comparison of inside and outside.”

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