Global architecture practice MAD Architects has broken ground for its first project in Japan – a kindergarten wrapped in a sheath of paper-like pieces that act as canvases for its students to draw and create on.

Clover House, located in Okazaki, Aichi, is the dream of the owner of a local kindergarten, who decided to renovate his own 105sqm two-storey family house, and transform it into a fully developed institution. Unlike traditional kindergartens, Clover House embraces its role as a shelter – a haven for education during the day and a home in the evening.

“The kindergarten’s homelike environment supports Clover House’s fully open teaching methodology, through which the children can build emotional bonds and trust among one another,” MAD Architects describe.

“During the day, children and teachers can eat, study, communicate, rest and play as if they were at a home. At night, the house reverts back to be the living space for the owner’s family and the school teachers.”

Situated next to rice paddy fields, the school will keep the wooden structure of the existing home intact, but welcome a new pitched roof that both injects a sense of dynamism into the interiors, whilst retaining memories of the building’s history as a residence. Its new skin and structure wraps the old wood structure “like a piece of cloth covering the building’s skeleton”, creating a blurry space between the old and new.

The original wood structure is visible throughout the main learning area, and is expected to help tell stories of Clover House’s traditions and history. Its translucent but enclosed spaces are adaptable to a variety of activities, with sunlight sifting through the windows to create shadows that move throughout the day.






The building’s form brings to mind a mystical cave and a pop-up fort

Common soft roofing materials asphalt single will be used to provide waterproofing for the fa├žade and roof, while cladding the whole structure with the paper-like pieces that will be filled with drawings once the building is open in December 2015.