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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

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

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

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?

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

Light: Beyond Transparency with James Carpenter

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

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

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'

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

Taking Daylight to the Next Level: How Daylighting Analysis is Changing Design

Until recently, renderings were the architect’s primary tool for understanding daylight in their designs—renderings, and a healthy dose of intuition. But a new generation of daylighting analysis tools, which is emerging alongside a new generation of daylighting metrics, are enabling architects to look at daylight in new ways—with important implications for design.

Business as usual, when it comes to daylight, is to use rules of thumb to design, then use renderings to check the design and communicate the intent. Rendering has fast become an art form: the creation of exquisite, evocative, often atmospheric imagery that communicates the mood, the experience, the visceral feel of the design. This is no accident: daylighting is a magic ingredient in architecture, bringing dynamism to static structure, imbuing buildings with a sense of time, and renderings are a powerful way to capture and communicate these ideas—a necessary complement to the hard line plans and sections that comprise much of the architect’s lexicon. Renderings have expanded our ability to communicate designs. They have also expanded our ability to conceptualize designs—and especially to conceptualize the daylight in our designs.

But there’s something missing: there are important daylight-related questions that renderings simply can’t answer. Even if they can be made reasonably accurate, they’re still incomplete: depicting a moment in time, but not providing an indication of whether that moment is unique or typical.

21 Finalists Named for 2015 LAMP Lighting Solutions Awards

LAMP Lighting has revealed its top picks for this year’s Lamp Lighting Solutions Awards. Now in their 6th year, the awards recognize projects that effectively explore the intersections of architecture, interior design, and landscaping with original, innovative, and sustainable lighting. With record internationalization, this year’s awards received 598 submitted projects from 54 countries worldwide.

The Lamp Lighting Solutions Awards span the categories of Architectural Outdoor Lighting, Indoor Lighting, Urban and Landscape Lighting, and Students Proposals. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Barcelona in June, and will receive monetary prizes between € 2,000 and € 8,000. Additionally, one professional will receive the “Life of Light” award for committing his or her career to lighting.

See all the finalists after the break.

Le Chai Ballande / Yon Anton. Image © Arthur Pequin Dolmen Light / Titia Ex. Image © Theo Berends Photograpy Affinity Interactive Art Installation - BCP Building / Claudia Paz. Image Courtesy of LAMP Lighting Szczecin Philharmonic / Barozzi Veiga Studio. Image © Simon Menges

Choi+Shine Architects Introduces the BIT Light, a Magnetic Modular Lighting System

Developed by Choi+Shine Architects, the BIT Light is a magnetic modular lighting system that offers endless configuration possibilities which can be arranged, deconstructed and rearranged in seconds. The system's main component is the "BIT", a linear lighting element comprised of an LED light source in a translucent polycarbonate tube that provides both protection and structural support. At each end of the BIT are conductor pads which join magnetically to the small nickel connecting elements, offering infinite possibilities for arrangement either as a flat wall-mounted lighting element, a suspended configuration, or even as a self-supporting three-dimensional lighting structure.

Courtesy of Choi+Shine Architects Courtesy of Choi+Shine Architects Courtesy of Choi+Shine Architects Courtesy of Choi+Shine Architects

LAMP Awards 2015: Rewarding the Best in Lighting

Last call for entries! LAMP Lighting Solutions is inviting lighting designers, architects, urban planners, interior designers, engineers, landscapers and students to submit their projects for the 2015 LAMP Awards. The LAMP Awards recognize projects that have successfully met the architectural lighting needs of an indoor or outdoor space, having created a positive synergy between architecture, interior design, landscaping and lighting. The awards value the creativity, innovation and sustainability of lighting projects, regardless of the manufacturer or the brand of lights used in the project. January 31st is the last day to submit projects

Last year, 608 projects from 52 countries were submitted as part of the LAMP Awards, and this year the jury will be comprised of Mark Major, Kai Piippo, Douglas Leonard, Anne Bureau, Emma Cogswell, Anupama Kundoo, Juan Carlos Sancho and Ignasi Bonjoch.

Light Matters: UN Celebrates The International Year of Light 2015

Light is all around us, and it increasingly affects our daily lives. For example, we have started to carry personal light sources around with our smartphones, and in our homes many electrical machines now utilize light to display information and simply to appear more attractive. In a larger context, architecture and cities have also developed a new dimension with the advent of electrical lighting for work and entertainment.

Inspired by the central role of light for our culture and technology, the United Nations has proclaimed 2015 as the “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies” (IYL2015). With IYL2015 the UN wants to raise the awareness of the importance of light and optical technologies in our lives, our future and the development of society.

Read on after the break for more enlightenment around IYL2015.

"Over the Rainbow", Shanghai, 2013. First place in the SPIE International Year of Light Photo Contest, Image © Paul Reiffer Realities:united, NIX, simulation drawing, 2005. Exhibition: Lightopia, Gent. Image © realities:united Swing time. Boston, 2014. Image © Howeler + Yoon Architecture New York – The City and the Storm. Image © Iwan Baan for New York Magazine

Christmas Lights in Madrid: Brut Deluxe's MOON Through the Lens of Miguel de Guzmán

Miguel de Guzmán, a noted photographer and Spanish audiovisual producer, has shared with us one of his most recent works. MOON is the lighting project by Brut Deluxe that has taken Madrid's Gran Vía, delivering a perfect urban setting for the year-end celebrations. This context is also the location of a new film by Imagen Subliminal, who has already delighted us in the past with audiovisual proposals for projects like The POP-UP House and Casa del Espinar. The full Moon, after the break.

© Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán

Christmas Wars: The Fight to Hold the World Record for the Most Christmas Lights

In the ongoing battle to hold the Guinness World Record for the Most Lights on a Residential Property (aka the house-with-the-most-Christmas lights), the Gay family in LaGrangeville, New York has once again reclaimed their title. This year the family used 601,736 lights, spanning two acres and set to more than 200 songs. RITZ Crackers, part of Mondelēz International, helped the family top the record, providing 200,000 lights. The Gay family and the Richards family in Canberra, Australia, have been fighting for the title over the past three years. But not to be outdone, the Richards family took home the Guinness World Record for the Largest Image Made of LED lights for their Christmas light installation this year. The installation in Canberra used 1,194,380 lights to make a 3D image of three Christmas gifts spanning 3,865 square meters and raised money for the charity SIDS and Kids ACT.  See more pictures and read more about the ongoing lights competition at City Lab and Guinness World Records

Light Matters: Creating Walls of Light

Modernism induced a shift in lighting away from luminaires and towards invisible light sources that render spaces in a purer (forgive the pun) light. For the first time, lit walls were used to define rooms and to structure architecture. Today I’d like to explore early prototypes - including Philip Johnson’s Brick House and the Seagram Building - and discuss how their lighting techniques continue to influence architecture today. 

Grazing light at Sancaklar Mosque, Istanbul. Architects: Emre Arolat Architects. Image © Thomas Mayer Wallwashing at British Museum, London. Architecture: Foster & Partners. Lighting design: Claude Engle, Chevy Chase, Maryland. Photo: Dennis Gilbert / View. Image © ERCO, Wallwashing at Nordrhein-Westfalen House, Germany. Architeture: John Pawson. Photo: Werner Huthmacher. Image © ERCO, Cove lighting at private spa. Designer: Carmody Groarke. Lighting design: Lighting Design International. Image © Christian Richter

Light Matters: Richard Kelly, The Unsung Master Behind Modern Architecture’s Greatest Buildings

Richard Kelly illuminated some of the twentieth century’s most iconic buildings: the Glass House, Seagram Building and Kimbell Art Museum, to name a few. His design strategy was surprisingly simple, but extremely successful. 

Lighting for architecture has been and still often is dominated by an engineering viewpoint, resigned to determining sufficient illuminance levels for a safe and efficient working environment. With a background in stage lighting, Kelly introduced a scenographic perspective for architectural lighting. His point of view might look self-evident to today’s architectural community, but it was revolutionary for his time and has strongly influenced modern architecture.

Read more about Richard Kelly’s remarkable, and unsung, contribution to architecutre, after the break.

Entrance, Seagram Building, New York. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto Seagram Building, New York. Image © Thomas Schielke Entrance, Seagram Building, New York. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto Bar, Four Seasons Restaurant, Seagram Building, New York. Image © Hagen Stier