It should be named bubble rather than circle planning. The plan is looking like bubbles slowly rising up in air keeping optimum distance between each other. Each bubble has only one function. There is no wall inside. Like a single-cell organism supported by organelles, mitochondria, ribosomes, etc., each bubble is supported by furniture and low partitions.
There is always criticism about the circular plan. It is not easy to arrange furniture. Structure is complicated. I have no objection against those, yet we found there are significant advantages on this circle planning compared to conventional modular planning.
First of all, the positioning of each function is completely free from geometrical restrictions. Each room can be located as it is analyzed on diagram. The size of each room can be adjusted freely.
Secondly, the visibility is excellent. Visibility is one of the most important requirements of a kindergarten and nursery school. The round shape brings 360 degree visibility naturally. The gap formed between bubbles provides glimpses from one end to the other side. The view from the office is very close to the one from the bridge of a ship.
Thirdly, the round shape provokes the endless circular movement of children. It is endless instinctive movement. The circles are linked with each other and create infinite combinations.
There is only one circle which allows children to cross. It is a dish of water for children. There is no step but only a gentle slope and the depth is only 30 centimetres. In the winter, the water is drained and the pool becomes an empty dish where children show motion of procession.
Main use: Nursery School
Location: Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Site area: 5497.99m2
Building area: 537.19m2
Total floor area: 403.51m2
Number of stories: 1
Architects: Tezuka architects / Takaharu+Yui Tezuka, Kenta Yano
Structural Engineering: Ohno JAPAN / Hirofumi Ohno, Satoshi Fujimoto
Landscape Design: 10-kei/Keiichi Ishikawa
MEP: Office May / Yousuke Hitomi, Minami Yuya, Masami Oshima
Lighting Design: Bonbori Lighting Architect & Associates, inc. /Masahide Kakudate, Toshio Takeuchi
Construction: Sato Construction/Shingo Karuishi, Takeru Kojima
Art director: Marukin Ad / Hideaki Okada, Mai Kanno, Erika Yamagishi
Design period: Nov. 2016—Jun. 2017
Construction period: Jul. 2017—Feb. 2018
About Tezuka Architects
Takaharu and Yui Tezuka founded Tezuka Architects in Tokyo, 1994.
In the following years, they produced an extensive body of work, including Echigo-Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Science, Roof House and the unique Fuji Kindergarten in Tachikawa, which received The Best of All, OECD/CELE 4th Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities in 2011, and the 2017 Moriyama RAIC International Prize.
When designing a building, their main concern is to create spaces that are open and welcoming to nature, trying to treat it in a way that can be appreciated. People are not viewed removed but as a part of all aspects of existence. As a result their buildings offer design that, rather than closing, opens possibilities.