Daylight Designs


As dusk falls, lights in the building's southwest corner cast a glow behind frosted glass; children play on swings in this area during inclement weather. The entrance to the facility is to the right, and is indicated by a door in the third bay of the clear glass section.

Light and shadow were tracked and documented at the March equinox for a precise handle on the sun's orientation in relation to neighboring buildings.

Daylight moves from south to west across the site, where zoning regulations required a one-story structure.

The packed program, in which outdoor space needed to match indoor square footage, resulted in all activities being accessed off of a common room to eliminate hallway space normally assigned to circulation.

The architects referred to an extensive series of diagrams they created in preparation for making design decisions. Diagram: Fire regulations required a five-meter setback from adjacent buildings.

A ramp provides a natural connection between the ground floor and roof, and links indoor to outdoor space.

Children at play in a communal area that faces the outdoor ramp leading to the rooftop.

Light, air, and setback regulations shaped the building and its surrounding surfaces.

A new concrete surface was laid over a net to cover oil and dirt from the site's past as a mechanic's garage.

Outdoor areas on the roof receive maximum light over frequently dark winter days.

The one-story day-care center is a good neighbor to the surrounding buildings. Consisting of two planes—one for the ground floor areas and another for the roof play area—the building takes advantage of the site's sun orientation. Etched glass on the day-care center's western elevation echoes the screen of trees in the foreground.

Natural light grazes the floor in the nursery. Custom-designed ceiling fixtures provide a balance of electric light.

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