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AR_EA Japan: Hibino Sekkei and Youji No Shiro

‘We are proud of making buildings that focus on fun for kids’

Who are you?
My name is Taku Hibino, the director of Hibino Sekkei + Youji No Shiro.

Where do you come from?

Why did you become an architect?
My father is an architect, so I’ve grown up with architecture.

What kind of work do you do?
We specialise in children’s facilities (kindergartens, nurseries and daycare).

What is it like being an architect where you are?
It depends on the architect. Japan has too many architects, and they are many different types: involved in design, administration, drawing up plans, etc.

What is the context (social, political, architectural) in which you are working?
Kindergartens and nurseries are a real social problem in Japan, especially in big cities where, firstly, there is a big shortage of nurseries, so it’s difficult for children to find places, and, secondly, where they can’t commune with nature. When we design kindergartens we are always conscious of bringing nature into their lives.

What inspires you these days?
Hotels, shops, nature, the city, magazines, novels.

What project are you most proud of and why?
We have worked on many nice projects. We are proud of making buildings that focus on fun for the kids, and we are not totally risk-averse.


Source: Hibino Sekkei + Youji No Shiro

H Kindergarten and Nursery

What is unique about your work?
It makes lots of children smile.

What is your favourite building material or building technique?
My favourite materials are all natural, like glass, stone, metal and paper.

How do you get ideas?
From everyday experience, rather than things in particular.

What are your favourite design tools?
AutoCAD, ArchiCAD and my brain.

What would be your ideal project?
One that takes risks and embraces fun. Places for jumping, stepping, slipping, drawing, painting, climbing, reading and studying.

What do you want to be remembered for?
For our work, so if anyone wants a nice kindergarten they remember us.

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