Kids and Architecture

30.7 to 12.8. 2018. in JMC Cultural Centre Grožnjan

Can architecture be the playing tools?  There have been many attempts to merge architecture and playing tools. These attempts were made to create child-friendly kindergarten and museums . Among these, you may find many colorful and cheerful playing tools in the buildings. There is no doubt that these settings make children happy but, I wonder if this is the answer for it. I feel these attempts are like dream. When you wake up, everything is gone. There is a clear boundary between the regime of children and real life. They have to wake up soon or later, and the dream ends.

A famous animation movie director, Hayao Miyazaki is well-known for his illustration of kids behavior . There are everything that kids are dreaming about in his movie, yet you find no playing tools in the movie.  His works are fiction but, they look so real. All these towns in the movie are not fantasy but he is describing the true adventure which exist in part of our daily life. The daily life never ends, so kids do not need to wake up. His works resonate many grown ups too. People resonate by the movie because they feel nostalgia.
Fuji kindergarten has no playing tools on top of the roof. At the beginning of the design stage, we were trying to design some playing tools. We were having hard time to find the answer, because the roof lost its charm as soon as we design more playing tools on it. Eventually we lost the reason to spend the budget for the playing tools. One day we visited Casa Mira in Barcelona, we suddenly convinced.
It is better not to have any playing tools. When we were with our two small children, they always play so happily without any playing tools.  There are only necessities, chimneys, stairs and skylights in the kindergarten we designed. Nothing more. Not only the children are happy, there are many visitors with shiny smile on their face too. We found any playing tools can never be more interesting than this beautiful roof. Trees, field and river used to provide different play opportunities for children, but children are longer allowed to go near to nature due to safety reasons. Playing tools become the device or equipment to replace the real environment we used to live in everyday.
Grožnjan is the kind of the place everybody dream of.  If you want to experience the dream, you have to really stay in Grožnjan. It is real life which will be still there even after your awake. We bring our children to Grožnjan every summer for last five years. Parents do not need to watch over them even after mid night. There is no danger. We do not need to tell them what they should do. There is no playing tools, but they are always happy. The town - Grožnjan is far more attractive than any playing tools. Normal playing tools always come with instructions and manuals. There is no rule in Grožnjan.
I want to you to design a dream which will still exist after your awake. I am not talking about day dreaming. I want you to design the dream which never ends.

Takaharu Tezuka