Compiled by Savitha Hira
Photography: Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners; courtesy the architect
Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design carve out “Mama Smile” - a colourful miniature world of learning-integrated comfort for toddlers and their developing minds…
In a mall in Mito, Japan, is this conscientious fun effort of designer-client collaboration to bring much-needed relief to young moms, who are outdoors with their little munchkins. Designer Emmanuelle Moureaux, known for her theoretical and psychological applications with colour in design, ushers in a ‘miniature-world-within-the-little-world’ of children up to the age of 10 years.
‘Mama Smile’ is an indoor playground facility that also houses a day nursery designed around the central theme of security that a child feels within his home. So, we have 459 sq. m. of area dedicated to this effort in the mall, where the facility is approached via a large cut-out, shaped like a child-drawn house, opening through a white wall.
What seems ordinary on the outside, opens up to reveal a dream for the young ones as a colourful world, with houses in 7 colours in the shades of yellow, pink, green, and blue. Akin to a miniature town for visitors, different facilities divide the space, creating a meandering and intriguing appeal, where the young ones discover different areas from the gap of back alleys and between the houses.
"Area for Everyone (minna-no-hiroba)" is available for various events such as birthday parties, "Area for Events (ibento-hiroba)" for game and dance events, the area with air jumper equipments provides space for children to run around, and the "Area for Crawling (hai-hai-hiroba)" for babies and the adjacent cafe space with floor cushion is for adults to stay on the same eye level as the children...
With "Mama Smile", adults can watch over children playing freely in peace and it is hoped that children will build up their rich sensibility in a space full of colours.