Making a forest with an arch: the case of a space for kids with disabilities in Japan

In Joyo, near Kyoto, an arched ceiling reproduces an indoor forest where children in wheelchairs can play easily.

Atelier Satoshi Takijiri Architects created in Joyo, 20 km far from Kyoto, a barrier-free space for children with physical disabilities. Halfway between a kindergarten and a playroom, Joyo Park is an open space plan designed not only to facilitate movements with a wheelchair, but also to immerse children in a “protected” forest.

The arched structure, artificially recreated from a conventional building, reproduces the feeling of walking in the woods without any vegetal element. The differently-sized and ice white-painted archies give it a multidimensional shape that makes it seem like passing through a dense and relaxing forest. The lights on the light wood panels in the ceiling are hot or cold depending on the portion of space in order to create the illusion of different environments even if there are no walls but impalpable white curtains.

The space’s many windows guarantee a continuous flow of natural light that changes depending on time and season and to allows children to breathe together with nature while playing in a closed, intimate and safe space.

Joyo Park
Atelier Satoshi Takijiri Architects
Kiyoshi Nishioka

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