UB Kindergarten and Nursery: Eco-Friendly Learning in Fuji Yoshida

Explore the UB Kindergarten and Nursery in Fuji Yoshida, Yamanashi, Japan, a masterpiece of modern design by HIBINOSEKKEI+Youji no Shiro. Built in 2022, this kindergarten harmoniously blends with the local scenery, offering a unique educational environment. Following the philosophy of “Play to the fullest in the nature of Fuji Yoshida”, it features a landscape rich with lakes, trees, and an exploratory forest.

Eco-friendly and child-centric, the UB Kindergarten and Nursery is not just a place of learning but a vibrant space fostering curiosity and a strong sense of community, all while embracing the beauty of nature.

Modern building with a sloped roof against a backdrop of trees, with children playing
Modern home interior with geometric staircase and mezzanine, people interacting.
Modern interior with wooden floors, black staircase, and people.
A modern hallway with bookshelves and a climbing wall for kids.
Modern spacious room with wooden walls and minimalist furniture.
Bright modern kindergarten room with wooden floors, large windows, and children at tables.
Modern interior with high ceiling, wooden floors, and a striking staircase.
Modern interior with high ceilings, wooden floors, and natural light.
Modern interior with wooden floors, slanted ceiling, and playhouse structure.
Modern interior with wooden floors, miniature house structures, and person exploring.
Modern outdoor dining area by a pool with a forest backdrop.
Modern building with large open entrance and group of people gathered.
Modern building with illuminated windows at dusk against a forest backdrop.

About UB Kindergarten

Innovative Design in Nature’s Lap

Nestled in Fuji Yoshida, the UB Kindergarten and Nursery accommodates up to 117 children. This sprawling site, exceeding 10,000 sqm (about 107,639 sqft), thrives with lush lakes and trees. Embracing a playful learning philosophy, the nursery immerses children in Fuji Yoshida’s natural beauty—rain, snow, or mud.

Eco-friendly Construction

The architects skillfully designed the layout to preserve existing trees. They also processed the excavated soil on-site, cutting costs and boosting environmental efforts. Moreover, they creatively used this soil to form a bumpy hill, repurposing it as a forest for children’s exploration. Additionally, the nursery’s reservoirs, shaped like pools, offer versatile play and learning areas—from rain observation to sledding.

A Forest Adventure Indoors

The building itself mirrors a forest adventure. With bumpy paths and varied elevations, it encourages discovery and learning. Inside, the picture book corner, slide, and play spaces carved into walls evoke a cave-like intrigue. On the second floor, the open-plan rooms, separated by partial walls, create a forest-like ambiance with cabin-themed spaces. These areas, from the bathroom to the library, promote independence and comfort among children.

Finally, using Fuji cypress, the local timber, the nursery not only connects children to their community but also honors the unique character of the area.

Photography courtesy of HIBINOSEKKEI+Youji no Shiro

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- by Matt Watts