Children’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation / Sou Fujimoto

Architects: Sou Fujimoto Architects
Location: Hokkaido, Japan
Project Team: Hiroshi Kato
Project Year: 2006
Site Area: 14,590 sqm
Constructed Area: 2,536 sqm
Photographer: Daici Ano & Sou Fujimoto

This is the treatment center for mentally disturbed children where they live together to get regaining their mental health. It may be thought that it is a very special building when I write so, but it is truly rich life space that requested in origin like a large house and also like a small city, the intimacy of a house and also the variety of the city. This is a proposal of a loose method.

plan diagram

The method of being random

A precise planning / Accidental landscape

If It was possible to make a building with such a method how something was merely scattered, I thought it was a dreamlike building. And, as for this method, surprisingly precision planning is possible. As opposed to the complicated program called for, moving a box delicately, the plan can be flexibly packed just because it is random.

However, the first feature of this method is over there.
Although, this space is created as a result of an infinite, strict and artificial design process, it stands as a place which is not planned at all, or which has been made automatically with no intention. The place which is vague, unpredictable, filled with unlikelihood. Something that is not meant is produced as a result of an intentional and strict design act. And plenty of a place is achieved because of ambiguity for not being intentional.

Selectivity and contingency / freedom and inconvenient

A surely irregular alcove-place is produced between the boxes placed at random. It is the place of a small scale where children can hide in while they are connected to the living area. Although it is the space with no function in which it can make it avoidable in a simple form strangely, children play with the place like the primitive man who interprets landscape freely and lives very well in it. They hide in a place behind something, show up, relax at back, and run about here and there. By being separated and being connected are compatible, freedom and inconvenient live together in the meantime. Plenty of the place for living is achieved.

It can be said that there is nothing center here and conversely, it can be said that there is a countless center. They are “relative centers” which always interchanges and changes with the consciousness of those who are there or the condition of light. For the staff, a staff room is a functional center. For children, living room, a single room, or an alcove is a center. The occasional center is found out in fluctuation of space.

Cite: "Children’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation / Sou Fujimoto" 03 Nov 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Musser

    breathtaking in its implications. a very intelligent project.

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  • David Basulto

    As Le Corbusier once said: “Architecture is the masterly, correct and magnificent play of volumes brought together in light.”

    Amazing work by Sou Fujimoto!

  • visitor

    Are you going treat those people or make they sick? That is my personal opinion, but this building is complete opposite what is should be. That remind me maze, long curve corridor without windows that is really place where you can get mad, with full respect for author. Scary. Scary. Scary.

  • hedgy

    Creapy .. ill say. I like the hole idea of the design of this space, but i dont like it’s function. I think this tipe of planning is not suitable fot a Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Cheers for Sou Fujimoto.
    P.S. i still admire the japanise architecture

  • Hamster

    You have to be japanese to recover in a space like that!

  • Andreas

    To those who call this project ‘scary’ and ‘creepy’, but ‘still admire japanese architecture’:
    The nice thing about showing some interest in other cultures’ concepts of space is that you learn something about the peculiarities of your one. Why not watch some Ozu or Kurosawa movies and then have another look at the project?
    I think it is above all your ignorance that scares you.

  • tk

    would be better as an artists’ community.

  • Berni

    oh no… why do so many architects don’t think about the »for who do we build« and »what should be the function of it« ?!?
    maybe the most inappropriate building for children with that kind of special need!

  • Kamila

    concept of the space, compossition, ilumination and emphasis of certain areas, are masterfully designed (deep bow for Fujimotosan)It is GREATE work on volumes and geometry, all elements of theory of design are taken under consideration and studied carefully…but I am not sure about “curing” mission of this space – I feel on these pictures lonlyness, alienation, if these people are going to recover, all responsibility lays on sholders of theraphists, space wont heal axious minds…(opinion of the person who was living in japan, not only experiencing the culture from movies, but being inside and between these people)… if we take under the consideration the big impact of selfconsiousness and focus on self development in japanese culture, we might think that this space reflect self control and order of higly develeloped SELF … it might help to understand these spaces and how it can influence personality of ill japanese people…

  • mig rod

    beautiful, simple, and most importantly fun. this place proposes events of creativity and possibility. this place relates more to the way our hearts feel, than the typical boring pristine hospital.

  • sullka

    At first I just picked up the word “children’s” in the title, and after looking at the pictures (without reading anything) I thought to myself, beautiful spaces, but pretty sad for kids to be in, it needs life, colors!….then I realized it’s actually a psychiatric Center, and everything made sense.

    Contrary to what others have said, I think it’s well done, I might be wrong, but I think a white canvas of a building is exactly what you need when treating people, nothing that disturbs tranquility or keep patients distracted.

    Excellent piece of architecture.

    • hulk

      i now agree with your opinion the best comment i have probably read in this coversation sullka and its about what you persive and how you percive it then every thing become wrong and right the same time …..

      • hulk


  • scarpasez

    For those who think it creepy: these images are devoid of people: give it the act of life to clutter it up, and this place is amazing for kids. Terrific plan, section…beautiful stuff.

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  • Visitor

    This address more for publisher, but I think all architectural services and beautiful newspapers should also inspect buildings after they have built. Kind of survey with users. That is dark side of all these shine buildings, monuments of architects. Has anyone find this kind of review? why? this is second the most interesting part architectural profession, ‘life of the building’

  • john maher

    nice, both concept and image.
    please tell me what you did to the timber floor.

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  • John Crittenden

    The box is the part that separates itself from the randomness of the design. The matter of the universe is like that of the mind, of adults, and of children, the loose stuff that is without order. It is kind of like meeting the children on their own turf. Without all the little similar boxes there would not be a context. I am a bit amazed by all the space devoted here to children who it would seem need a bit of nurture and boundary to ease the difficulty of being deranged.

  • zanzi

    i love it but i’m not sure if this suits of it’s function.Floor plans are very complicated for a child.i don’t know but i love it.

  • Rehabilitasyon

    Very nice work. Thanks…

  • Ash

    i like the concept

  • oyun

    Excellent work. Good Website. Thanks Admin…

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  • max

    For children?
    Will any children like these boring spaces?
    or it’s only the designer’s will.
    if i am a child,i prefer some more interesting and creative
    some more easier to understand.

    • ye han

      good concept ,but it’s not fit to children.

  • Andrew Shenouda

    I like the way of making children interact through dining rooms and spaces like that.
    I also think the double height spaces and hidden skylight will let them feel free to some extend and at the same time they are interacting
    I just wanted to know if the site located in a city or located in an isolated area or Moderate?

  • lee


  • Tom

    I love this.

  • sara

    quite and beautiful