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Daylight: The Latest Architecture and News

When Sunlight Meets Tadao Ando’s Concrete

06:30 - 18 April, 2019
When Sunlight Meets Tadao Ando’s Concrete, Vitra Conference Pavilion, Weil am Rhein / Germany. Image © Vitra, by Richard Bryant
Vitra Conference Pavilion, Weil am Rhein / Germany. Image © Vitra, by Richard Bryant

Koshino House, Ashiya-shi / Japan. Image © Kazunori Fujimoto Church of the Light, Osaka / Japan. Image © Naoya Fujii Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth / USA. Image © Todd Landry Photography Screenshot of video of Hill of the Buddha at the Makomanai Takino Cemetery, Sapporo / Japan. Image © Hokkaido Fan Magazine + 8

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.

30 Open Bathrooms: Incorporating Breeze and Nature in Private Space

10:00 - 16 March, 2019
30 Open Bathrooms: Incorporating Breeze and Nature in Private Space, Forest View House / Sinichi Ogawa & Associates. Image © Shinichi Ogawa & Associates
Forest View House / Sinichi Ogawa & Associates. Image © Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

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.

© Sean Fennessy © Luis Gordoa © Shannon McGrath TreeVilla at Forest Hills / Architecture BRIO. Image © Photographix + 37

Sun-Filled Spaces Created By Skylights In 20 Architectural Projects

07:00 - 6 March, 2019
Sun-Filled Spaces Created By Skylights In 20 Architectural Projects, © Adam Mork
© Adam Mork

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.

© Mathias Kestel © Hufton + Crow © Christian Richters © Andrew Lee + 44

Why Norman Foster Scoops Daylight into his Buildings

07:00 - 4 February, 2019
Why Norman Foster Scoops Daylight into his Buildings, © Rudi Meisel. Image Reichstag New German Parliament / Foster + Partners
© Rudi Meisel. Image Reichstag New German Parliament / Foster + Partners

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."

Building Better Schools: 6 Ways to Help Our Children Learn

04:00 - 9 October, 2018
© Velux Group
© Velux Group

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.

© Velux Group © Velux Group © Velux Group © Velux Group + 22

Meet the 9 Regional Winners of the 2018 International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture

18:00 - 6 July, 2018
Meet the 9 Regional Winners of the 2018 International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture, Courtesy of Velux Group
Courtesy of Velux Group

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 Wins 2018 Daylight Award for His "Timeless, Fluid" Treatment of Light

04:00 - 21 May, 2018
Hiroshi Sambuichi Wins 2018 Daylight Award for His "Timeless, Fluid" Treatment of Light , The Water - Installation in the Cisterns of Frederiksberg. Image © Jens Markus Lindhe
The Water - Installation in the Cisterns of Frederiksberg. Image © Jens Markus Lindhe

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.”

Naoshima Hall. Image © Shigeo Ogawa Rokko Observatory. Image © Sambuichi Architects Miyajima Misen Observatory. Image © Sambuichi Architects Inujima Seirensho Art Museum. Image © Daici Ano + 12

Custom Bamboo Skylight Illuminates the Interior of a Historic Building in China

06:00 - 21 July, 2017
Custom Bamboo Skylight Illuminates the Interior of a Historic Building in China, Cortesía de Atelier Archmixing
Cortesía de Atelier Archmixing

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

06:00 - 7 June, 2017

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: LIVE KEYNOTE from the 7th VELUX Daylight Symposium

03:31 - 4 May, 2017

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: LIVE KEYNOTE from the 7th VELUX Daylight Symposium

08:15 - 3 May, 2017

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: LIVE KEYNOTE from the 7th VELUX Daylight Symposium

03:20 - 3 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 Wins 2016 Daylight Award in Architecture

06:00 - 20 September, 2016
Steven Holl Wins 2016 Daylight Award in Architecture , Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Image © Petri Virtanen
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Image © Petri Virtanen

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.”

International VELUX Award 2016 for Students of Architecture - Competition Live Stream

04:30 - 19 September, 2016
International VELUX Award 2016 for Students of Architecture - Competition Live Stream, 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!
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!

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!

10 Typologies of Daylighting: From Expressive Dynamic Patterns to Diffuse Light

10:20 - 18 May, 2016
10 Typologies of Daylighting: From Expressive Dynamic Patterns to Diffuse Light, © Philippe Ruault
© Philippe Ruault

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.

International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture

07:50 - 25 March, 2016
International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture,  Registration for the International VELUX Award 2016 for Students of Architecture is open until 1 April 2016.
Registration for the International VELUX Award 2016 for Students of Architecture is open until 1 April 2016.

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.

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

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.”