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Veiled in Brilliance: How Reflective Facades Have Changed Modern Architecture

09:30 - 12 October, 2016
Veiled in Brilliance: How Reflective Facades Have Changed Modern Architecture, Reflections on glass façade. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg. Architects: Herzog & de Meuron. Image © Frank Thiel
Reflections on glass façade. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg. Architects: Herzog & de Meuron. Image © Frank Thiel

Even as modernism promoted the transparency of glass architecture, many within the movement were conscious of the monotony of large glass facades, with even Mies van der Rohe using elements such as his trademark mullions to break up his facades. But in the years since, countless uniform structural glazing skyscrapers have emerged and bored urban citizens. In response to this, unconventional reinterpretations of facades have gained interest.

Accompanied by the belief that light and brilliance could help in creating iconic architecture and a better human world, glass and metal have been innovatively transformed to create crystalline images. As a result, the locus of meaning in architecture has shifted from the internal space-form towards the external surface.

When Droplets Create Space: A Look at Liquid Architecture

09:30 - 15 September, 2016
When Droplets Create Space: A Look at Liquid Architecture, Light in Water, 2015. Paris. Architects: DGT Architects. Photographer: <a href='http://www.takuji-shimmura.com/'>Takuji Shimmura</a>. Image © DGT Architects
Light in Water, 2015. Paris. Architects: DGT Architects. Photographer: Takuji Shimmura. Image © DGT Architects

Throughout the past century, architecture's relationship with water has developed along a variety of different paths. With his “Fallingwater” house, for example, the American master Frank Lloyd Wright confronted the dramatic flow of water with strong horizontal lines to heighten the experience of nature. Since then, architecture's use of water has become more varied and complex. A space made almost purely of water emerged with Isamu Noguchi's design at the Osaka World Expo: glistening water appeared to fall from nowhere and glowed in the dark. Later with digitalization and fluid forms as design parameters, the focus shifted towards liquid architecture made of water and light. The interpretations have ranged from architectural forms modeled after literal drops of water, like Bernhard Franken´s visionary “Bubble” for BMW, to spectacular walk-in installations made of lines of water, transformed into pixels by light.

Icelandic Pavilion. Hannover, Expo 2000. Image © Thomas Schielke Blur Building. Exposition Pavilion: Swiss Expo, Yverdon-Les-Bains, 2002. Architects: Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Diller Scofidio + Renfro Olafur Eliasson: The reflective corridor, Draft to stop the free fall, 2002. (Der reflektierende Korridor, Entwurf zum Stoppen des freien Falls, 2002). Photographer: Werner J. Hannappel. Courtesy of Centre for International Light Art Unna, Germany. Image © 2002 Olafur Eliasson Luce Tempo Luogo, 2011. Milano. Architects: DGT Architects. Photographer: Daici Ano. Image © DGT Architects +20

From Productivism to Scenography: The Relighting of Norman Foster's Hongkong and Shanghai Bank

10:30 - 6 July, 2016

Three decades ago the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) Headquarters by Norman Foster emerged onto the architectural seen as an exemplary product of industrial design. The open layout with its exposed steel structure generated a powerful corporate identity for the bank. But the restrained atmosphere of white architectural lighting and the lack of distinctive façade lighting has lost its attractiveness after sunset. Now the colorful and dynamic relighting presents a remarkable example of how an architectural icon has shifted from a productivist ideology towards a scenographic image. To the western observer the multicolored light language may give off a playful impression, but to the local culture the transformation evokes grandiosity.

Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters, Hong Kong, in 2015. Architects: Foster + Partners. Photographer: Simon McCartney. Image © illumination Physics Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters, Hong Kong, 1986. Architects: Foster + Partners. Lighting design: Claude and Danielle Engle Lighting. Photographer: Ian Lambot. Image © ERCO, www.erco.com Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters, Hong Kong, in 1986. Architects: Foster + Partners. Lighting design: Claude and Danielle Engle Lighting. Photographer: Ian Lambot. Image © ERCO, www.erco.com Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters, Hong Kong, in 2015. Architects: Foster + Partners. Photographer: Simon McCartney. Image © illumination Physics +12

Jeffrey Jacobs Architectural Photography & Lighting Workshop

14:25 - 28 March, 2016
Jeffrey Jacobs Architectural Photography & Lighting Workshop, Jeffrey Jacobs Architectural Photography & Lighting Workshop - Photo Credit Jeffrey Jacobs
Jeffrey Jacobs Architectural Photography & Lighting Workshop - Photo Credit Jeffrey Jacobs

In this three-day in-depth workshop, internationally acclaimed architectural photographer Jeffrey Jacobs will share extensive details of how he lights and captures the architectural images that have garnered recognition worldwide. This workshop will be a mix of hands-on and classroom instruction. Learn the gear. Learn the software. Then join the Jacobs crew to participate in a full-on production shoot after the sun sets.

Media Architecture Biennale 2016

08:53 - 21 March, 2016
Media Architecture Biennale 2016, Media Architecture Biennale 2016
Media Architecture Biennale 2016


From June 1st - 4th, design and urban planning experts from around the globe will transform The Concourse, on Sydney’s North Shore into a digital media technology hub, for the 5th international Media Architecture Biennale 2016. Architectural and design professionals, academics, state and federal government representatives and specialised experts in digital placemaking will host a series of workshops, symposia and events designed to explore the existing and future impact of digital technologies on urban planning within global cities.

Toyo Ito Designs New Mayuhana Lamp for Yamagiwa

12:00 - 8 March, 2016
Toyo Ito Designs New Mayuhana Lamp for Yamagiwa, Courtesy of Yamagiwa
Courtesy of Yamagiwa

Yamagiwa has just released a new version of Toyo Ito's popular Mayuhana lamp - Mayuhana Ma Black. "Ma," meaning "true" or "genuine," represents the new lamps darker color that is, as the company describes, "more deep and profound."

"Mayuhana Ma Black is light in darkness. It is the quintessential quality of light found in Japan that reminds me of ‘In Praise of Shadows’ by Junichiro Tanizaki," says Toyo Ito.

Frozen Architecture: From Glistening Snow Shows to Multi-Colored Ice Festivals

09:30 - 21 January, 2016
Frozen Architecture: From Glistening Snow Shows to Multi-Colored Ice Festivals, Oblong Voidspace - Jene Highstein & Steven Holl. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Kostamoinen
Oblong Voidspace - Jene Highstein & Steven Holl. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Kostamoinen

Winter is the perfect time to build structures with ice, a time and a technique that together offer the possibility of a pure white architecture. With a cloudy sky the condition culminates into an impressive whiteout: white architecture, the landscape and the sky dissolve into a diffuse unity without a visible horizon. If clear skies emerge a subtle contrast of warm and cool white appears with yellowish sunrays against the blue sky. However, the ice itself has striking effects as well: The surface appearance ranges from crystal clear glass to soft opaque impressions. And, for the long nights, illumination achieves an additional magical glow and extends the short daylight time.

Worldwide, snow shows, ice hotels and festivals have attracted numerous visitors with glistening snows and stunning lighting solutions. Futhermore, this frozen water strategy presents a sustainable solution par excellence, where the manufacturing and even disposal causes no harm to the environment. Read on to explore the coolest projects and events featuring architects and artists from Finland to China.

Art Suite 2016. Under the Arctic Skin by Rob Harding & Timsam Harding. Image © Icehotel, Asaf Kliger. www.icehotel.com Icehotel 25 by Anja Kilian, Sebastian Andreas Scheller, Wolfgang-A. Lüchow. Image © Icehotel, Paulina Holmgren. www.icehotel.com Oblong Voidspace - Jene Highstein & Steven Holl. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Menne Stenros Ice Time Tunnel - Tatsuo Miyajima & Tadao Ando. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Jeff DeBany +7

Connected Lighting: From Ethernet to Li-Fi Internet

09:30 - 21 December, 2015
Connected Lighting: From Ethernet to Li-Fi Internet , The Edge, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Architects: PLP Architecture, OeverZaaijer; Interior architects: Fokkema & Partners. Image © Ronald Tilleman, Philips Lighting, The Edge OVG Real Estate
The Edge, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Architects: PLP Architecture, OeverZaaijer; Interior architects: Fokkema & Partners. Image © Ronald Tilleman, Philips Lighting, The Edge OVG Real Estate

How will our buildings change when your mobile device can receive huge amounts of data flowing from the luminaires above you? Not only has LED brought us a highly efficient light source, but a promising instrument for visible light communication (VLC) as well. Therefore light will not only be a medium to support vision, but it will also be an essential means of data communication. With the low energy consumption of LED one can even set up luminaires without mains cables for the power and just install Ethernet cables. Welcome to the world of digital lighting.

Brut Deluxe Lights up the Streets of Geneva with LUX.LGE Installation

08:00 - 12 December, 2015

Brut Deluxe has created a colorful light installation, made up of 48 chandelier-like pieces that dangle above Geneva’s Rue du Mont Blanc for the 2015 Geneva LUX light festival. The project continues on Brut Deluxe’s extensive work with ephemeral installations and their study of spatial qualities through light.

Miguel de Guzmán and Rocío Romero, from the photography studio Imagen Subliminal, have shared with us their images and video of the installation.

Learn more and view more images after the break. 

© Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán / Rocío Romero) © Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán / Rocío Romero) © Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán / Rocío Romero) © Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán / Rocío Romero) +16

Call for Entries: Edition 02: Lightius Loci - Spirit of Light

23:30 - 2 November, 2015
Call for Entries: Edition 02: Lightius Loci - Spirit of Light

Community Lighting for the Urban Environment has set itself the goal of encouraging and challenging young designers such as students (University & Colleges) and emerging Professionals (<5 years in their profession) to develop innovative lighting concepts for interior and exterior spaces, stimulate challenging ideas and recognize the individuals creating those ideas. 

How the Science of Light Will Affect the Future of Architecture

09:30 - 31 October, 2015
How the Science of Light Will Affect the Future of Architecture, Courtesy of Thames & Hudson
Courtesy of Thames & Hudson

There is arguably no aspect of architecture in which science is more influential than in the realm of lighting; from the florescent bulbs of the late 19th century to the LEDs that only became truly viable in the past decade or two, advances in the science of creating light have been quickly followed by architectural experimentation. In this excerpt from her book "Superlux: Smart Light Art, Design & Architecture for Cities," Davina Jackson recounts the tremendous advances made by lighting in the 20th and early 21st centuries, and looks forward to the next frontier - that of "smart lighting."

Today’s smartest lighting innovation has no need for machine-generated power. Simply fill a clear plastic bottle with water (plus bleach) and silicon-seal it through a hole in the roof of any rudimentary shelter. Behold: daylight floods the dark interior.

PET bottles for conducting radiance, solar-powered LED lamps for night visibility and satellite-enabled smartphones to exchange instant knowledge globally: these are the 21st century’s keys to illuminating billions of people living rough in settlements. Like the original campsites of London, New York, São Paulo and Sydney, some of these slums will become great global centers.

A Brief History of Rome's Luminous Rotundas

09:30 - 22 October, 2015

With its hundreds of churches, Rome has a developed a rich history of domes. Inspired by this heritage, Jakob Straub has photographed the city's most remarkable rotundas from the ancient Pantheon up to Pier Luigi Nervi's modern sports arena. His neutral photo perspective, taken looking upwards from the center of the rotunda, opens a new view for the underlying concepts where the architecture yearns for the firmament. For Elías Torres, these “zenithal-lit” spaces constitute an important method for daylight architecture, where the exterior is also transformed into a fascinating distant reality.

Torres has analysed numerous strategies for lighting architecture effectively with daylight from above. In his book “Zenithal Light,” illustrated with an abundance of striking photos, he came to the conclusion that “Amongst the representations of the sky in the interior of architecture, the one that depicts the sun shining from above with a circular form has been the favoured one for many cultures.”

Nightscape 2050 Travelling Exhibition in Singapore

07:00 - 3 October, 2015
Nightscape 2050 Travelling Exhibition in Singapore, Light Pavilion, World Nightscapes. Photo Credit: Lighting Planners Associates
Light Pavilion, World Nightscapes. Photo Credit: Lighting Planners Associates

In celebration of the International Year of Light in 2015 and the practice's 25th anniversary, Lighting Planners Associates (LPA) is putting up an ambitious show Nightscape 2050, with the exhibition travelling from Berlin to Singapore and then to Hong Kong and Tokyo, from August 2015 to June 2016. Nightscape 2050 is intended to be one of its kind for Light and Lighting, in which visions of the future of lighting and the way LPA imagines to use this light are shared with the visitors.

What Happens When Light Starts to Create Brand Experiences?

09:30 - 29 September, 2015
What Happens When Light Starts to Create Brand Experiences?, H&M Store in Barcelona / Estudio Mariscal. Image Courtesy of Estudio Mariscal
H&M Store in Barcelona / Estudio Mariscal. Image Courtesy of Estudio Mariscal

Global companies often exploit architectural icons to transform physical form into their desired brand reputations. To help achieve this goal, after twilight, the natural qualities of buildings have often been supplemented by architectural lighting, as the facades call unmistakeably for attention with their colorful and dynamic illumination. Representation has become the leading motivation for upgrading the lighting at headquarters and retail outlets. But when the illumination evolves into spectacular gestures, the brand identity and architecture itself starts to fade. Hence, the struggle for individuality has revived the discussion about ornament – though ornament appears now as light.

Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza Facade Renewal / Jun Aoki & Associates. Image © Daici Ano © Diego Opazo Allianz Arena Munich by Herzog & de Meuron, Munich, Germany. Image © Allianz Arena/B. Ducke Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi by Asymptote, Abu Dhabi. Image © Viceroy Hotel Group +7

Light: Beyond Transparency with James Carpenter

19:30 - 5 August, 2015
Light: Beyond Transparency with James Carpenter, James Carpenter Design Associates, Sky-Reflector Net
James Carpenter Design Associates, Sky-Reflector Net

This October, UrbanGlass in Brooklyn will host a one-day workshop with architect James Carpenter. James' work with UrbanGlass began more than two decades ago, when he worked in our studios to create unique projects in glass. The class "Light: Beyond Transparency" requires no previous knowledge about glass processes and techniques, but will include time in the studio learning about how the material is manipulated.

"Light Beyond Transparency" will take place on October 18th, 10am-5pm. This one-day workshop will focus on observation and explore a conceptual approach to manifesting these observations in the built environment. 

Exhibition: Nightscape 2050- A Dialogue Between Cities-Light-People in Future

02:30 - 14 July, 2015
Exhibition: Nightscape 2050- A Dialogue Between Cities-Light-People in Future, 2050 NIGHTSCAPE LIGHTING PLANNERS ASSOCIATES
2050 NIGHTSCAPE LIGHTING PLANNERS ASSOCIATES

The emphasis on light and lighting now is more than ever and this is evident from the global initiative by UNESCO to declare and celebrate 2015 as the International Year of Light. With this in mind, Nightscape 2050 is a unique exhibition dedicated to Lighting and is aimed to explore a completely new horizon of lighting design. This exhibition aims to explore the interactions between people, light, and cities in the year 2050. 

Sefaira Incorporates Customizable Graphics Into Daylight Visualization Software

17:00 - 17 May, 2015

Sefaira, the market-leading daylighting visualization tool, has just announced a new feature for their software plugins for Autodesk Revit and Trimble Sketchup. In addition to the real-time visualizations announced last year, the new update adds customizable, exportable graphics which offer both a point in time analysis or an annual overview, and analysis tools which help designers easily identify overlit and underlit spaces and review heating or cooling requirements.

Dutch Artist Transforms Amsterdam's Museumplein With 'Waterlicht'

05:00 - 15 May, 2015
Dutch Artist Transforms Amsterdam's Museumplein With 'Waterlicht', © Studio Roosegaarde
© Studio Roosegaarde

Waterlicht (or 'water light') is a new light installation which has temporarily transformed Amsterdam's Museumplein into a "dream landscape" expressing both the power, and the poetry, of water. The shifting shapes and liquid movement of the artwork also have a very real purpose: like a virtual flood, the level of the lights show how high the water could submerge Holland and parts of The Netherlands without constant human intervention. The installation highlights how innovation in engineering, something which is embedded "within the DNA of the Dutch landscape" of polders and dikes, has been "almost forgotten." The nation's vulnerability against the power of the oceans is pertinently expressed in this experiential urban intervention.

© Studio Roosegaarde © Studio Roosegaarde © Studio Roosegaarde © Studio Roosegaarde +9