The BLL Awards for Architecture & Design comes from “Bringing light to life” which is the slogan of VELUX world brand for roof windows, which distribute daylight and fresh air into buildings through the roof. The idea of the Awards is to popularize good architecture, from architects and designers across countries in the CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) region, which demonstrates the effective distribution of daylight into buildings and the utilization of the space under the roof elements. It is a platform to showcase the work and products of architects and designers to a global audience. This year is the 6th edition of the BLL Awards, and is now open for entries. Seven countries from the CEE region are included – Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Turkey.
Daylight: The Latest Architecture and News
If there is any consistent factor in his work, says Pritzker-winning architect Tadao Ando, then it is the pursuit of light. Ando’s complex choreography of light fascinates most when the viewer experiences the sensitive transitions within his architecture. Sometimes walls wait calmly for the moment to reveal striking shadow patterns, and other times water reflections animate unobtrusively solid surfaces. His combination of traditional Japanese architecture with a vocabulary of modernism has contributed greatly to critical regionalism. While he is concerned with individual solutions that have a respect for local sites and contexts Ando’s famous buildings – such as the Church of the Light, Koshino House or the Water Temple – link the notion of regional identity with a modern imagining of space, material and light. Shoji walls with diffuse light are reinterpreted in the context of another culture, for instance, filtered through the lens of Rome’s ancient Pantheon, where daylight floods through an oculus. Ando’s masterly imagination culminates in planning spatial sequences of light and dark like he envisioned for the Fondation d’Art Contemporain François Pinault in Paris.
The private space is usually associated with hiding what goes on inside, allowing people to have certain moments of intimacy. Habitually, bathrooms have been designed for this purpose, reducing openings to a minimum or — sometimes — eliminating them completely.
However, being such an important space within a building, bathrooms have become an object of new exploration for architects. By blurring the limits of privacy — without losing it completely — these spaces are open to the outdoors, allowing the breeze to enter. How does this new experience feel? Check out 30 open bathrooms that play with the feeling of exhibitionism, without fully revealing what is happening inside.
Perhaps the most renowned 'skylight' ever built is the Pantheon of Rome commissioned by Marco Vipsanius Agrippa during the reign of Emperor Augustus (27 BC-14 AD) and rebuilt by Hadrian (117-118) around 126 AD. At the highest point of its dome (in this case, the oculus) the sunlight shines, casting its beams over the various statues of planetary deities that occupy the niches on the walls. The light that enters the space symbolizes a cosmic, sacred dimension. In projects around the world, natural light continues to fulfill this scenic role, especially in religious projects.
It is characterized as zenithal illumination as that which comes from above, from the sky (zenith). Very useful for large spaces that can not be adequately lit by windows, skylights are a widely used device for providing a pleasant, diffuse light. Generally, care is taken to prevent direct entry of sunlight; the openings must be well designed so that they do not overheat the space of allow water infiltration. Below is a collection of projects that make good use of this technique.
While many architects consider windows for brightening interior spaces, Norman Foster is intrigued by natural light from above. The British star architect has long held Louis Kahn and Alvar Aalto in high esteem for how they handled daylight - especially with regard to the roof. In particular large public buildings benefit from this strategy creating enjoyable spaces. Therefore, Foster regards daylight from above as indispensable when he develops megastructures for airports on the ground or tall skyscrapers for work. But daylight from above is much more than an aesthetic dimension, remarks Foster: "Quite apart from the humanistic and poetic qualities of natural light there are also energy implications."
Did you know that 64 million European children spend more time at school than anywhere else other than their home? European children spend approximately 200 days each year at their primary schools. With this information, how do we go about designing healthier classrooms that create productive learning environments? This question is perhaps more important than ever, as this will be the first time since the 1970s that Europe and the UK will see a boom in the construction and renovation of schools. What a tremendous opportunity this is for both architects and educators to rethink what an educational facility should be and how the physical environment can be designed to have a positive impact on learning.
Held every two years, the International VELUX Award challenges students to generate projects that take advantage of daylight, with the aim of developing a deeper understanding of this energy source.
A jury of renowned architects chose 9 regional winners for its 2018 iteration, who will now compete for the winning title at the World Architecture Festival in November. The winners were chosen from projects presented by students from 250 different architecture schools in 58 countries.
Hiroshi Sambuichi's approach to a site entails long-term study and reflection upon the qualities and forces of nature embedded within. His understanding is “deeper and with a finer grain,” explains American architect and member of The Daylight Award jury James Carpenter as one of several reasons why Sambuichi was recently announced as the latest laureate of the nearly 50-year-old Daylight Award in 2018. In Sambuichi's hands, “light becomes timeless, fluid and rich.”
In response to the overwhelming growth of cities and neighborhoods in China, architects from Atelier Archmixing’s Shanghai office, have developed a series of proposals that seek to return value to sensitive interior spaces and improve the user’s quality of life through design.
The project consists of an interesting light fixture; a bamboo structure similar in shape to an umbrella, that lets natural light and fresh air into the building.
Stefan Behnisch, Omar Gandhi and Anne Lacaton Explain the Role of Light at the 7th Daylight Symposium in Berlin
Under the theme "Healthy & Climate Friendly Architecture - From Knowledge to Practice", the 7th VELUX Daylight Symposium, held in Berlin on 3-4 May 2017, was attended by 39 speakers from research and architectural practice.
Participants were able to contrast the information presented by researchers with the 'built experience' of architects from Europe, Canada and USA, generating interesting discussions about the need to go deeper in the understanding of this natural resource, and then design more effectively.
These are the highlights from the event.
Anne Lacaton (France) is an award-winning architect and part of the duo Lacaton & Vassal, having made reuse of existing materials and integration of daylighting in standard construction their signature architecture and adding a social dimension to architectural design.
Omar Gandhi (Canada) from Omar Gandhi Architect is recognized as one of the world’s top 20 young architects by Wallpaper* Magazine and as one of 2016’s ‘Emerging Voices’ by The Architectural League of New York will be one of four keynote presentations by critically acclaimed architects that will be live-streamed from the international forum for daylight and architecture, the VELUX Daylight Symposium, to be held for the 7th time, 3-4 May 2017.
Stefan Behnisch (Germany) from Behnisch Architekten, an award-winning architect and advocate of sustainable design, is one of four keynote presentations by critically acclaimed architects that will be live-streamed from the international forum for daylight and architecture, the VELUX Daylight Symposium, to be held for the 7th time, 3-4 May 2017.
Steven Holl has been awarded the 2016 Daylight Award in Architecture, which honors architects “who have distinguished themselves by realizing architecture or creating urban environments that showcase a unique use of daylight, for the benefit of overall quality of life, its impact on human health, well-being and performance, and its value to society.”
Watch the ten regional winners of the International VELUX Award 2016 for Students of Architecture present their daylight-inspired projects at the World Architecture Festival in a live streamed event before the jury selects the two global winners!
Sunlight has proven to be an excellent formgiver, with which architecture can create dynamic environments. The lighting design pioneer William M.C. Lam (1924-2012) emphasized in his book “Sunlighting as Formgiver” that the consideration of daylight is about much more than energy efficiency. Architects have now found numerous ways of implementing sunlight and the questions arises whether a coherent daylight typology could be a valuable target during the design process. However, many daylight analyses focus mainly on energy consumption.
Siobhan Rockcastle and Marilyne Andersen, though, have developed a thrilling qualitative approach at EPFL in Lausanne. Their interest was driven by the spatial and temporal diversity of daylight, introducing a matrix with 10 shades of daylight.
The International VELUX Award for students of architecture is a competition that wants to encourage and challenge students to explore the theme of daylight - and to create a deeper understanding of this ever-relevant source of energy, light and life. The award encourages projects that celebrate the privilege of being a student with curiosity and with the willingness to think “out of the box” – as well as consider the social, sociological and environmental dimension of daylight.
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.