On the UNESCO International Day of Light, The Daylight Awards announced the 2022 Laureates: Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara from Grafton Architects (Ireland) for their use of light in architecture, and Anna Wirz-Justice (Switzerland) for her extensive daylight research. Releasing footage offering an insight into the winning works, The Daylight Awards present international excellence in daylight research and practice and the humanistic approach to celebrating light.
In interview with Anna Wirz-Justice she discusses her time working within a psychiatric clinic, uncovering connections between abnormal light exposure and the impact this has on overall mental health. In conversation with both Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects, they offer insight into the employment of daylight within the design process as a key and inherent quality, which can ultimately influence spacial arrangement.
Not only do they represent international excellence in daylight research and practice, but they also embody a generous and humanistic spirit regarding the celebration of daylight. The contribution of daylight to enhance quality of life, even to celebrate life is an intrinsic quality of their work - The Jury
The Daylight award 2022 Laureate for daylight architecture: Yvonne Farrell & Shelley McNamara
The video delves into the consistent and considerable use of daylight in their designs offers appealing contrasts, warm atmospheres and comfortable conditions, illuminating their projects. Humanistic light that compliments the architecture and creates a unique spatial experience for visitors and those who work and reside there. Penetrating even the most broad and deep buildings, light remains abundant throughout and where it is needed, creating both human scale and an intimate feel to their designs. As an intrinsic element to Grafton Architects’ architecture, they present mastery in terms of light distribution and delivery, serving as an architecture for people and the enhancement of the community.
Co-founding Grafton Architects in 1978, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara are international honorary fellows of the RIBA, receiving the inaugural RIBA International Prize in 2016 and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2020. Ultimately mastering the use of daylight through a series of varied designs, they utilize natural light in order to articulate spaces of varied importance/function and their desired atmosphere. Integrating daylight within the design process as an inseparable aspect, they direct daylight both vertically and horizontally within their buildings, creating both sensory experience and optimum working conditions.
The Daylight award 2022 Laureate for daylight research: Anna Wirz-Justice
In interview with Anna Wirz-Justice she specifies that she seeks to raise knowledge and understanding of how we are affected by light exposure and has firmly planted her science across the public sector, conveying the importance of the natural day and night cycle on our psyche and physiology. Reawakening interest in the relationship between daylight and artificial light in architecture. She emphasizes that light is essential for health, specifying that the appropriate light exposure synchronizes the circadian timing system, and without this daily synchronization consequences such as irritability, fluctuations in mood and reduced concentration can occur. Long term, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental illness and obesity.
The Daylight Award for Daylight research is a great surprise and a great honor, for which I am extremely grateful, since it highlights our field of chronobiology, and the growing knowledge of how crucial daylight is for our health and wellbeing. I have had the fortune to live and work in an extraordinary era where the science of biological rhythms came of age - Anna Wirz-Justice
Anna Wirz-Justice was a Professor of Psychiatric Neurobiology at the University of Basel, publishing over 450 research papers and review articles. Undertaking pioneering research on how circadian rhythms and sleep are actually regulated by light, she defined the key parameters of how light acts as a biological stimulus, including the importance of when we see light, how long we see it and of what intensity and spectrum.
The Daylight Award has been awarded every second year since 2016 in order to honor and support outstanding daylight research and daylight in architecture. Encouraging scientific knowledge and the practical application of daylight in design, the award seeks to raise holistic understanding. Each award is given as a personal prize and those fortunate to receive such an honor will be involved in awareness activities post award ceremony.
To see more, check ArchDaily’s full coverage of The Daylight Awards