Around 50 years ago a Zelkova tree was planted in Tachikawa, Japan — and it has gone on quite a journey since then. First, it was nearly uprooted during a typhoon, and turned grey and lifeless. Then it made a full recovery and become a favorite place for kids to hang out and climb. And now it's the heart of a very special .
The building, which is named "Ring Around the Tree" as a nod to the famous children's song, was designed by Peter Cook of and built in 2011. It's made out of glass, steel, and wood and serves two purposes: It's used as an English classroom during school hours and functions as a playground during recess and while kids wait for the bus after school.
The best part? Cook definitely made sure there was a heavy emphasis on playtime when he worked on the layout. Case in point: The smaller, meter-high levels that kids can climb around in, but are too small for adults. Sure, this element of adventure might scare some parents, but those who send their kids to the clearly know what they signed up for (including this amazing jungle gym on steroids).
Take a closer look: