Tezuka Architects has won the 2017 Moriyama RAIC International Prize for their Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo, Japan. The school currently instructs 30 students with autism and was designed to be “filled with background noise,” based on research that suggests children with autism function their best with about 20 kilohertz of ambient white noise.
The kindergarten won for the “sheer joy” manifested in the design of the circular, single-section building, according to jury chair Barry Johns.
“This winning project should give all architects around the world reason for great optimism that humanity benefits enormously from the creation of such a deeply simple and yet sophisticated architecture of unquestionable redeeming value,” he said.
The prize was established in 2014 by Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) to honor architecture that, without geographic limit, transforms its local context while simultaneously expressing values of inclusivity, justice, equality, and respect. RAIC, the body which administers the award, reviewed entries from 17 countries this year.
Shortlisted projects included Bjarke Ingels Group’ 8 House in Copenhagen, Denmark; John Wardle Architects and NADAAA’s Melbourne School of Design in Melbourne, Australia; and MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects’ Shobac Campus in Nova Scotia, Canada.