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On the last weekend in October, the municipality of Metzerlen-Mariastein celebrated the "Open Day" of the rebuilt elementary school. The basement was converted into two spacious classrooms. The workroom now shines in daylight thanks to two mirror shafts.

Daylight in the basement without loss of space on the outside

As part of the conversion, existing basement rooms were converted into classrooms. This raised the question of daylighting. Originally, excavations were planned on the north side to create two atriums. However, the necessary dimensioning of one atrium did not harmonize with the existing architecture of the staircase: The parapet around the atrium would have cut off almost half of the staircase. 

Heliobus The Daylight Company

The solution was found with the mirror shafts from Heliobus. The workshop is supplied with sufficient daylight without any loss of space in the outdoor area, i.e. the existing architecture could continue to be used optimally. The daylight supply via the mirror shafts was also more cost-effective than the excavation of the atrium. By using the mirror shafts, the staircase could be left in place and there was no loss of space, since the covers can also be walked on from the outside.

The Mirror Shaft solves several problems: the space above can still be used, no leaves are left lying around, and the room is optimally illuminated. In addition, this daylight solution was more cost-effective compared to excavating the atrium.

Rolf Borer

Construction Planner, Studio for Construction & Design

"Now I like being down here in the workroom".

The mirror shafts provide the basement with plenty of daylight and thus also with the feel-good effect that daylight brings. Manuela Furrer, a teacher of textiles and technical design, remembers when the workroom didn't have mirror shafts: "When I used to teach in this workroom, I was happy to be able to go upstairs to daylight during the break. And now I love being down here." She also tells of the curious looks of students who saw mirror shafts for the first time. "Curious, they opened the windows and stuck their heads into the mirror module," Ms. Furrer laughs.

Heliobus The Daylight Company

I first taught here for a while without mirror shafts. It was very dark and I was always happy when I could go upstairs to daylight during the break - and now I like being down here. You really feel at home. When the children saw the mirror shafts for the first time, they were amazed, opened the windows and looked curiously into the mirrors.

Manuela Furrer

Teacher for textile and technical design, Elementary school Metzerlen-Mariastein

The before and after effect of the mirror shaft is amazing

Heliobus The Daylight Company


The two mirror shafts direct daylight far to the back - the room is optimally illuminated.

Heliobus The Daylight Company


The basement light wells bring some light, but without electric light the room is not usable.