Nursery: the environment as the third teacher, flooring concept with rubber floor-coverings

Germany (Berlin) | Education | noraplan® valua

Kita am Gleis: The safe floor for little explorers

Children explore the world through play on rubber floor coverings at the Kita am Gleis daycare facility

The environment as the third teacher – this principle, developed by the educationalists of the famous, Italian Reggio Emilia movement in the 1960s, is practised at the Kita am Gleis daycare facility in Berlin. The principle states that a child’s personality is strengthened by teachers encouraging them to pursue their own interests and develop their individual skills. The environment is of fundamental importance in this concept: openness and transparency are vital factors for the successful implementation of this educational approach. Numerous glass elements in the interior of the Kita am Gleis daycare facility provide views into play areas and spaces for experiential learning. The children are encouraged to follow their own curiosity, to make discoveries and reach their own decisions. The building materials are intended to foster a thirst for knowledge and create a safe and healthy environment for children. When choosing a floor, the nursery opted for the rubber floor covering noraplan® valua. This flooring is attractive, healthy, environmentally compatible and hard-wearing. It also has excellent acoustic and ergonomic properties. All this promotes a positive and child-friendly ambience.

Eco-friendly materials in warm tones

The Kita am Gleis daycare facility in the Tempelhof- Schöneberg district of Berlin has space for 33 children aged one to six. “Be the inspiration - be inspired!” is the motto of Mahalo gGmbH, independent sponsors of child and youth welfare. The facility promotes individual, independent development and is also involved in the state programme “Gute und gesunde Kita” (good and healthy daycare). The objective of this programme is to improve the educational opportunities and health prospects of children in the long term. The children can play in the two spacious outdoor areas and a movement room. The little explorers and artists can engage their own creativity in the laboratory and studio. The interior is divided by large glass panels and is airy and bright to give a feeling of transparency and aid orientation. One particular highlight is a window inlaid in the floor of the piazza on the upper storey that allows the kids to peep down into the lower floor. The fitted cupboards made from pale birch wood feature large openings for the little ones to crawl into and use as hidey-holes. The owners chose noraplan® valua rubber flooring in a warm shade of beige. This shade augments the atmosphere whilst still being unobtrusive, and helps to accentuate the brightly coloured furnishings. “Rubber is an eco-friendly, authentic and high-quality material, making it the perfect choice for nurseries”, explains architect Jason Danziger of thinkbuild architecture BDA. Mr Danziger has already completed several projects using nora® rubber floorings and his long-term experiences with these floor coverings have been positive. The floor coverings are durable yet comfortable – ideal for children who spend so much of their time on the floor. “noraplan ® valua has an interesting directional texture that gives it a dynamic feel”, continues Danziger. The plain colour of the floor connects the various rooms visually. Like all the shades used in this interior (mainly shades of blue, grey and beige), the shade of this noraplan valua floor comes from the NCS R90B colour family. It was precisely custom-matched using the NCS colour code in Weinheim. more

Healthy floor coverings promote healthy indoor air

“Many daycare facility operators opt for natural construction materials that have a positive effect on the indoor air quality in order to ensure a healthy environment”, explains Martina Hoock, nora’s market-sector specialist for education. nora® floorings are free from PVC and free from plasticizers and halogens. They were the first resilient floor coverings ever to be awarded the Blue Angel eco label for low emissions. There is no need to coat or seal noraplan ® valua floors. This means that the rubber flooring can be cleaned easily and economically using ecofriendly methods. “The durability and low-cost upkeep of nora® floors are key advantages when considering lifetime costs, particularly for municipal facilities, and also make a contribution to sustainability”, continues Hoock.

Resilient rubber floorings for quieter rooms and safe playtimes

Good acoustics are vital in nurseries to allow uninterrupted play and education. This is because a quieter environment has not only been proven to result in lower levels of stress and tension, it also promotes speech intelligibility and so enhances children’s language skills. Along with acoustic insulation on the walls and ceiling, the floor covering in the Kita am Gleis daycare facility also contributes to a peaceful environment. The permanently elastic quality of rubber means that nora® floors considerably soften the patter of tiny feet. At the same time, the flooring feels warm and inviting to sit on, making it the ideal surface for babies who are still crawling. Children can safely run and play on the non-slip, permanently elastic nora® floor. And if they do take a tumble, the floor reduces the force of the impact and therefore also the risk of injury. Modern architecture that provides a varied, creative yet still comfortable ambience: the Kita am Gleis daycare facility is paving the way for the explorers of the future.

Data and facts

Building Kita am Gleis, Berlin, Germany
Architect arge KNOWSPACE THINKBUILD BDA, Jason Danziger + Erhard An-He Kinzelbach in collaboration with Oliver Collignon / Collignon Architektur & Design
Installation Year 2019
Photographer Werner Huthmacher

Fussboden Röhr GmbH, Panketal


noraplan® valua

Rubber floor covering with an organic texture in 16 colours inspired by nature.

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