»When it comes to our children, even the very best, is only just barely good enough.«
In his famous quote, the renowned Slovenian writer and poet might have meant literature, yet the claim is hard to contradict in any context. What we desire for our offspring, is only the highest quality nutrition, the most delightful experiences and the best education. And along with the latter, the best possible spaces in which to achieve this education, made of quality materials, equipped with quality furniture and designed by the best architects. yet while thinking of the material, one should never loose sight of the crucial immaterial component – light. When it comes to illumination, there is no competing with daylight. As human beings have developed evolu- tionary adaptations and dependencies to it, it remains the most efficient and stress-free condition for us to perceive the world by. Additionally, daylight regulates our circadian rhythms, balances our hormone levels, stim- ulates wakefulness and facilitates the final transition to sleep. The team behind the Pedenjped day-care centre based their design on this very premise and chosen the spatial layout which allows for optimal natural illumination of all rooms. All around the doughnut-shaped building, floor- to-ceiling windows span the facade facing outwards as well as inwards, with light natural materials modulating the incoming daylight. It is obvious the architects treaded with care, intent and feeling.
Yet, in spite of all this dedication on part of the architect, come autumn, the sun sets earlier by the day and day- light slowly but inexorably becomes a precious com- modity. Artificial illumination becomes unavoidable and careful, precise and technically savvy light design turns into a crucial part of the project.
How can we supplement daylight in all light conditions? How to achieve optimal energy efficiency? And last but not least, how to create a feeling of comfort and a homely atmo- sphere with the most susceptible of all users – the children?
Photo: Miran Kambič