Interior Design in Education: The Role of Natural Light in Kindergartens

Our environment influences how we feel; we have all experienced this. For students, it is easier to study in a bright place, artists look for inspiring atmospheres, and our mood can improve with the right color scheme. These aspects are also important for kindergartens, daycare centers and schools, because a child-friendly design can stimulate the curiosity and imagination of children, so that they learn in a playful way. The design of a room supports the learning and creativity of children. Daylight systems, for example, flood rooms with light, making them appear larger and friendlier.

Design plays an important role in ensuring that the various functional corners in an educational space are separated from one another. In order to use room design as part of education, as seen in numerous pedagogical concepts recommended by Maria Montessori, planners should pay attention to a few key factors. Since walls, windows and doors provide color, acoustics and light in the room, they have an enormous influence on the atmosphere. With a well thought-out choice of components, you can create a concept that gives the children freedom and security. 

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Daycare center "Glückliche Zukunft", Sömmerda. Image Courtesy of LAMILUX

Natural light makes spaces look larger and friendlier. With enough space, children can discover their surroundings in a stimulating way. At the same time, brightness signals a feeling of security to the children. When they can see their environment, play partners and caregivers clearly, they feel more secure when exploring and playing. With a suitable color scheme and other details, the room becomes a child-friendly place to learn. LAMILUX has been manufacturing daylight systems made from plastic, glass and aluminum for 70 years, used in commercial buildings and industrial shed complexes, as well as private residences. The purpose of these structures primarily consists in optimizing the use of natural light and guiding it into building interiors. From rooflight domes, flat roof windows and continuous rooflights through to glass roof constructions in aesthetically pleasing shapes, bringing indirect light and an incredible ambience to the spaces. The following projects for all ages demonstrate what this can look like in practice:

Daycare center Lindenstraße, Hof

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Daycare center Lindenstraße, Hof. Image Courtesy of LAMILUX

The daycare center of the Bavarian Red Cross in Hof is a good example of how several functional areas can be combined in one room. Beneath the eleven meter long LAMILUX Glass Roof PR60 one can find a parents' waiting area, a play stage and the children's restaurant. Since the daycare center follows an open concept, the children can choose how they spend their day, so they meet up to eat, play and learn in the atrium. The glass roof illuminates the room in a natural way, so that the children can find their way around easily and cope with their everyday life safely. "Thanks to this, the children can learn in a relaxed way, we don't have to deal with the stimuli of artificial light, the atmosphere is flooded with brightness - it is simply a perfect atmosphere here," reports Tanja Steinhäuser, head of the daycare center.

Daycare center "Wolke 10", Nuremberg

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Daycare center "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 daycare center is located in a Nuremberg car park above the city's buildings. The building has already received several awards for its unique architecture and creative design. At the same time, the daycare center offers an ideal play and learning environment for the little ones. In the outdoor area the children have the opportunity to let off steam together in the open air, and inside they also continue their activities with joy and curiosity. The 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 sufficient daylight. The colorful cladding of the upstand fills the room with a warm, orange light and thus dispenses love of life and a good mood.

Daycare center "Glückliche Zukunft", Sömmerda

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Daycare center "Glückliche Zukunft", Sömmerda. Image Courtesy of LAMILUX

The daycare center "Glückliche Zukunft" in Sömmerda also makes the children's everyday life more colorful. The multi-purpose room connects the group rooms and creates a place for creativity and joint learning. The room's eye-catcher: seven circular LAMILUX Glass Skylights F100. The different sizes of the daylight systems, ranging from 80 to 180 centimeters in diameter, ensure a playful and child-friendly design. The colorful borders and the integrated LED lighting provide the multi-purpose room with friendly color accents that perfectly match this creative space. Since the environment influences the behavior of its users, the room encourages them to play, dream and think.

Kindergarten “St. Severin”, Garching

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

The kindergarten "St. Severin" in Garching chose a simple and natural design. The wood paneling inside gives the room a bright and cozy atmosphere. The curved roof and a total of 22 circular LAMILUX Glass Skylights F100 are architectural highlights. These features alone strengthen the child's sense of harmony and aesthetics. The light coming in from above also conjures an interesting interaction of light and shadow that keeps changing during the day. This way, a small piece of nature gets inside the building and the children can observe any type of weather event. Since the daylight systems are partly equipped with ventilation flaps, the children are not only provided with daylight but also with fresh air.

Day nursery Wiggensbach

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Day nursery Wiggensbach. Image Courtesy of LAMILUX

The nursery in Wiggensbach combines natural materials and bright color accents. The building is clad with regional wood inside and outside and thus fits perfectly into its environment. Floor-to-ceiling windows and two LAMILUX Glass Roofs PR60 bring sufficient daylight into the group rooms and the play corridor. Here, too, the space is used optimally by making the corridor a meeting place for the children. Thanks to numerous glass surfaces, the children always remain within sight of their friends and educators. The group rooms, the exercise room and the staff area all come in a bright, natural design, which the architects livened up with large colored areas in the wash and dressing rooms. Thus, each group has its own color and the children find their places easily. In a playful way, the little ones get to know the colors, how to distinguish between them and what meanings they have in the daycare center. This encourages the independence of the kids, who also like to let off steam in the spacious outdoor area of the daycare center, if the weather allows.

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

About this author
Cite: Eduardo Souza. "Interior Design in Education: The Role of Natural Light in Kindergartens" 28 Mar 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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