Nakanoshima Children’s Book Forest

Fragments of books. Kodomo Honnomori Nakanoshima.

A paradise for kids and adults needing to escape the reality of screens: This is the gift the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando gave his hometown. In the center of Osaka, on the Island of the Dojimagawa River in the Nakanoshima Park, is a building meant for kids: the “Kodomo Honnomori Nakanoshima” or “Nakanoshima children’s book forest”. It is filled with books, from top to bottom, left to right, ceiling to floor. Opened to anyone since July 2020.

Entering the Book Forest means entering a beautiful three-story atrium with walls covered with books. There are two main parts to the building, the library and the terrace: To move from one world to the other, the visitors have to pass through two concrete silos accessed on the first floor. The bare walls on the inside are used for a dynamic projection show “Fragments of books” that was created by Rhizomatiks.

The “Fragments” are short sentences, or aphorisms, taken from different books, brought to life through an immersive dynamic projection show. The design is sober, colours are avoided to leave as much space to imagination as possible.

Characters are moving everywhere on the 12 meter high projection surface, taking advantage of it all. Opening a book will trigger a beautifully designed experience, integrating perfectly into the immersive architecture. A perfect visual way to capture someone’s curiosity and interest them in a book.

This library isn’t just an innovation on an architectural aspect, but as well as a library. Thanks to BACH, instead of having the books arranged by genre or age-range, they’re organised in a way to trigger spontaneity and curiosity in the visitor’s mind. The titles are organised into 12 categories such as « Play with nature » or « For those who like animals » and dispatched over 3 floors. The library offers intimate corners for readers to fall in love with their books in the perfect surrounding. The architectural design and its curved walls offers an immersion into a colourful and harmonious universe, all around books.

The aphorisms are everywhere, as “Sculpture of words” are displayed all around the library and the garden. The big “Blue Apple” on the terrace is a gift from Tadao Ando. In his designs, he plays with opposite forces and tension to create an  “atmospheric simplicity in the spatial complexity”. For this project, he drew a curve opposing the bend of the river.

“I imagined the form to be the arch of a bow moments before an arrow is launched”  says Tadao Ando.

You might know him better for others of his countless works, such as the “Church of Light”, the “Pulitzer Arts Foundation” or the “Chichu Art Museum”. After many international exhibitions and guest appearances at the Yale and Harvard Universities, he has been teaching at the Tokyo University for over 20 years.


  • Creative direction and direction: Ayahiko Sato (Rhizomatiks Design)
  • Art direction and direction: Yuto Nakamura (MARUKAJIRI)
  • Animation: Naoki Oishi (Big!), Shuhei Ohashi
  • Illustration: Takuma Fukuzawa
  • Music: Noboru Mutoh
  • Projection coordination: Tomoya Kishimoto
  • Sound coordination: Shinichi Minami (CLAMP), Kenji Ouchi (sound design.)
  • Construction: Mono Conception Products
  • Equipment cooperation: Universal Business Technologies Corp.
  • Videographer for recap video: Timothée Lambrecq
  • Comprehensive produce and book selection cooperation: BACH
  • Projector: Optoma ZH506
  • Mirror Head: MH08-506L
  • Media Server: MDC-X2