At Fuji Kindergarten, designed by Tezuka Architects, children enter an oval-shaped building with an open-air rooftop playground, with trees entering into classrooms and virtually no division between play and learning spaces, between the indoor or outdoors. On Tuesday, the firm was awarded the Moriyama RAIC International Prize for this project in a ceremony held in Toronto. The Moriyama RAIC International Prize recognizes one architect, team of architects, or architect-led collaboration for a single work of architecture that is deemed as a transformative and inspirational contribution to society, and comes with a monetary prize of $100,000. The work must embrace humanistic values of social justice, respect, equality and inclusiveness within the community. Tezuka Architects, a husband-and-wife practice based out of Tokyo, Japan have been previously recognized for their people-centered designs. The firm was chosen from a shortlist including BIG, John Wardle Architects and NADAAA, and Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects. Located in the suburbs of Tokyo, Fuji Kindergarten is a single-story oval-shaped building 183 meters in circumference, with the roof serving as a playground. Three enormous trees were incorporated into the building, soaring through the classrooms and up to the roof, encouraging children to climb, with protective nets installed to catch them. A network of staircases, slides and skylights joins the two levels, making the roof accessible and inviting. Designed for 600 students, the building encourages community and social interaction. The interior classrooms are interconnected, partitioned only with movable furniture. Noise flows freely through the school, outside to inside, challenging the norm of quiet learning spaces so common in kindergartens (a condition which often makes children nervous and uncomfortable). Throughout most of the year, all the sliding doors are open, harmonizing the outdoor and indoor, a common theme in Tezuka Architects' work.
Posts tagged with "Moriyama Prize":
The jury has been announced for the 2017 Moriyama Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC) International Prize. Established in 2014 by Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama in conjunction with the RAIC and the RAIC Foundation, the prize consists of a monetary award of CAD $100,000, a sculpture designed by Wei Yew, and an invitation to participate in the jury for the following award. Last year’s winner Li Xiaodong, of Beijing-based Li Xiaodong Atelier, will serve on the jury alongside notable figures within Canada’s architecture community, including Monica Adair, co-founder of Acre Architects, Manon Asselin, co-founder of Atelier TAG, George Baird, founding principal of Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, and Peter Cardew, founder of Peter Cardew Architects. Bryan Avery, founder of London-based Avery Associates Architects, will be the international juror while Barry Johns will serve as the jury chair, with David Covo, associate professor of architecture at McGill University, acting as the professional adviser to the jury. According to a press release by the RAIC, the prize is awarded to a building or group of buildings which “reflects Moriyama’s conviction that great architecture transforms society by promoting social justice and humanistic values of respect and inclusiveness.” The award is open to any architect, team of architects, or collaboration led by an architect, and limited to one submission per contestant. In addition to the main prize, three students of Canadian schools of architecture each receive scholarships of CAD $5,000 on the basis of a written essay. "I look forward to an innovative, transformative architecture to not only win the Prize but awaken ideas and thoughts that will alter our collective aspiration for the future of humanity," Moriyama said. For more info on the prize, visit the prize's website here. Submission details are listed here.