Residential Living Centers


Natural Interior Daylight Saves on Energy While Creating a Healthy Work Environment.

Founded in 1961, Camphill Village in Copake, NY was part of a movement to change how society treats people with special needs. Because Camphill Village encourages and honors the individuality and creativity of its residents with special needs, a large-scale construction was planned for their four diverse, onsite craft studios. The goal of the two new buildings was to further Camphill’s mission to provide an environment where each resident has the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential.

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“We use natural fabrics— mostly wool from sheep, some merino, some chenille, a little bit of cotton. And we dye it ourselves,” said Rose Airing, Weavery Manager. “In the right kind of natural light we can see a more realistic picture of all our colors, the slight differences.”

A key design element of the new studio buildings was the use of natural interior daylight as a primary light source.

“The decision to use daylighting was almost automatic for us—it’s in our nature,” explained Jos Smeele, Director of Camphill Infrastructure. “We’re very rural, we live in a beautiful area, so we make use of daylight as much as we can in all the construction we do.”

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