Did you know that Okazaki City in Aichi Prefecture is the home of the first Tokugawa shogun of Japan? Besides being the birthplace of a famous figure in Japanese history, it is also home to beautiful wooded parks and temples. The city is also noticeable for its outdoor entertainment areas and residential places with different lighting, planting, and irrigation systems. One structure that stands out from the rest is Clover International School for its contemporary architecture. Check it out!
MAD Architects is an architectural design firm based in China. It was founded by Ma Yansong who also serves as an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University’s School of Architecture. Simply known as “MAD,” the firm opened in 2004 in Beijing, and was later expanded to Los Angeles and New York.
The goal of MAD is to provide a forward-looking environment by developing futuristic architecture based on contemporary interpretation. Their projects extend from residential places to offices, museums, cultural centers, and the like.
MAD is known for designing the Harbin Opera House in China, which is known for its undulating form, and the twisted Absolute Towers in Canada.
MAD Architects’ first project in Japan was the Clover International School located in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture. It was established in 2016 and occupies a 300-square-meter area.
The school started out from a small family home owned by siblings Kentaro and Tamaki Nara. Later on, they thought of expanding their educational institution in order to provide more facilities. It was then overhauled by Chinese studio MAD.
The old wooden house is now draped in white asphalt shingles. MAD kept low cost in mind and retained the building’s skeleton. Many of the things were recycled with the goal of creating a homey environment for the kids. The school has huge windows that overlook the beautiful paddy fields in the area. Various geometric shapes were used in order to attract children’s eyes.
Okazaki is a mountainous area and MAD has taken advantage of it by putting square openings and portholes in the building. It also has playful features such as a slide that emerges from a window on the second floor, dropping children directly into the outdoor play area. You can feel the natural light inside the school with the help of the whiteboards and pale floorboards. It is also known for its signature pitched roof which adds to the area’s playfulness.
Clover International School in Japan is one of MAD’s most playful architectural designs, inspired by children’s imagination and point of view. The school provides two levels of classroom space and a small amphitheater-like space. Although it has been completely renovated, MAD preserved the wooden structure of the old house.
If you have a preschooler in the family, why not consider enrolling them in Clover International School? If not, this school in Aichi Prefecture is still well worth a visit for its unique architecture!
Clover International School Website *Japanese only