Interior design in education: the role of natural light in kindergartens

Interior design in education: the role of natural light in kindergartens

Our environment influences how we feel; we have all been through this. For students, it is easier to study in a bright place, artists seek inspiring atmospheres, and our mood can improve with the right color scheme. These aspects are also important for kindergartens, day care centers and schools, because a child-friendly design can stimulate children’s curiosity and imagination, so that they learn in a playful way. The one-piece design promotes children’s learning and creativity. Daylight systems, for example, flood rooms with light, making them appear larger and more inviting.

Design plays an important role in ensuring that the different functional corners of an educational space are separated from each other. In order to use room design in education, as many of the instructional concepts recommended by Maria Montessori show, planners need to pay attention to a few key factors. Since walls, windows and doors bring color, acoustics and light into the room, they have a huge influence on the atmosphere. With a well thought-out choice of components, you can create a concept that gives children freedom and safety.

Nursery "Gluckliche Zukunft", Sommerda.  Image courtesy of LAMILUX
Nursery “Glückliche Zukunft”, Sömmerda. Image courtesy of LAMILUX

Natural light makes spaces look bigger and more inviting. With enough space, children can discover their environment in an stimulating way. At the same time, the brightness signals a sense of security to children. When they can clearly see their surroundings, play partners and caregivers, they feel safer when exploring and playing. With an appropriate color palette and other details, the room becomes a child-friendly place to learn. LAMILUX has been manufacturing plastic, glass and aluminum daylighting systems for 70 years, used in commercial buildings and industrial hangar complexes, as well as in private residences. The purpose of these structures is mainly to optimize the use of natural light and guide it inside the buildings. From skylight domes, flat roof windows and continuous skylights to aesthetically shaped glass roof constructions, bringing indirect light and incredible ambience to spaces. The following projects for all ages show what this can look like in practice:

Kindergarten Lindenstraße, Hof

Kindergarten Lindenstraße, Hof.  Image courtesy of LAMILUX
Kindergarten Lindenstraße, Hof. Image courtesy of LAMILUX

The Bavarian Red Cross child care center in Hof is a good example of how several functional areas can be combined in one room. Under the eleven meter long LAMILUX PR60 canopy there is a waiting room for parents, a play stage and the children’s restaurant. As the daycare is open plan, children can choose how they spend their day, so they meet to eat, play and learn in the atrium. The canopy illuminates the room in a natural way, so that children can find their way around easily and face their daily lives in complete safety. “Thanks to this, children can learn in a relaxed way, we don’t have to deal with artificial light stimuli, the atmosphere is flooded with brightness – it’s just a perfect atmosphere here”, reports Tanja Steinhäuser , responsible for the nursery.

Nursery “Wolke 10”, Nuremberg

Nursery "Wolke 10", Nuremberg.  Image courtesy of LAMILUX
Nursery “Wolke 10”, Nuremberg. Image courtesy of LAMILUX

The “Wolke 10” daycare center is not located in any of the usual locations. At a height of 16 meters, the nursery is located in a Nuremberg car park above the city buildings. The building has already received several awards for its unique architecture and creative design. At the same time, the nursery offers an ideal play and learning environment for the little ones. Outside, the children have the opportunity to let off steam together in the open air, and inside they also pursue their activities with joy and curiosity. Bright rooms create a pleasant atmosphere for children and staff. Even in the dressing room, which has no side windows, the LAMILUX Glass Skylight FE provides enough daylight. The colorful covering of the backsplash fills the room with a warm, orange light and thus dispenses joie de vivre and good humor.

Nursery “Glückliche Zukunft”, Sömmerda

Nursery "Gluckliche Zukunft", Sommerda.  Image courtesy of LAMILUX
Nursery “Glückliche Zukunft”, Sömmerda. Image courtesy of LAMILUX

The “Glückliche Zukunft” daycare center in Sömmerda also makes the children’s everyday life more colorful. The multipurpose room connects the group rooms and creates a place for creativity and joint learning. The eye-catcher in the room: seven circular LAMILUX F100 glass domes. The different sizes of the natural lighting systems, ranging from 80 to 180 centimeters in diameter, guarantee a playful and child-friendly design. Colored borders and integrated LED lighting give the function room friendly color accents that perfectly match this creative space. Since the environment influences the behavior of its users, the piece encourages them to play, dream and reflect.

Kindergarten “St. Severin”, Garching

Kindergarten “St. Severin”, Garching. Image courtesy of LAMILUX

The kindergarten “St. Severin” in Garching has chosen a simple and natural design. The interior woodwork gives the room a bright and cozy atmosphere. The curved roof and a total of 22 circular LAMILUX F100 skylights are architectural highlights. These features alone enhance a child’s sense of harmony and aesthetics. Light from above also evokes an interesting interplay of light and shadow that keeps changing throughout the day. In this way, a small piece of nature penetrates inside the building and the children can observe any type of weather event. Since daylight systems are partly equipped with ventilation flaps, children not only benefit from daylight but also from fresh air.

Wiggensbach Nursery

Wiggensbach crèche.  Image courtesy of LAMILUX
Wiggensbach crèche. Image courtesy of LAMILUX

The Wiggensbach nursery combines natural materials and bright color accents. The building is clad in regional wood inside and out and thus blends in perfectly with its surroundings. Floor-to-ceiling windows and two LAMILUX PR60 skylights bring enough daylight into the group rooms and the play hall. Here, too, space is used optimally, making the hall a meeting place for the children. Thanks to numerous glazed surfaces, the children always remain within sight of their friends and educators. The group rooms, the gym and the personal space are part of a clear and natural design, which the architects have embellished with large colored areas in the laundry rooms and changing rooms. Thus, each group has its own color and the children easily find their place. In a playful way, the little ones learn to know the colors, how to distinguish them and what meanings they have in the nursery. This promotes the autonomy of the children, who also like to let off steam in the large outdoor space of the daycare, weather permitting.

See more examples of projects and products to integrate natural light into projects in our catalog.

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Rozella J. Cook