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Natural Light: The Latest Architecture and News

Daylight Helps Transform a Once Victorian Prison into a Luxurious Hotel

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Commercial building refurbishment projects present architects with design challenges. Transforming 18th century Bodmin Jail into a modern hotel meant an acknowledgement of restrictions in relation to the building’s infrastructure. Listed buildings often have construction regulations to preserve historic and architectural interests, impacting thermal comfort and how daylight is introduced to transform building spaces.

These design challenges can make architectural planning appear more complex, particularly when a building is being repurposed. Common challenges include sourcing materials to replicate or meet existing infrastructures. The adaption of floor plans, consideration of user comfort and introduction of technology in planning phases, also influence contemporary design. The Bodmin Jail Hotel required skylight installations that could work within an existing and iconic sloping roof.

Light as a Design Statement: Inspiring Ways to Manage Natural Lighting

© Eugeni PONS
© Eugeni PONS

For most people, modern living requires spending most of the day in interior spaces - in fact, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency, the average person spends around 90% of their life indoors. As a result, this implies missing out on health benefits associated with sunlight exposure, such as vitamin D absorption, regulation of circadian rhythms, higher energy levels and even improved mood. Thus, one option is to increase the amount of time we spend outdoors. But because most daily functions are carried out inside buildings, it is crucial to incorporate and prioritize natural lighting in interiors.

How to Design for Visual Comfort Using Natural Light

Architects are increasingly aware of our influence on the well-being and good health of the users of our projects. Natural lighting –and how it should be complemented with artificial lighting– is an essential factor to consider for the visual comfort of interior spaces. But, do we know how to handle it correctly?

White Arkitekter's Design for Nuuk's Psychiatric Clinic Emphasizes Nature in Mental Health Design

The built atmosphere in which we live has a profound impact on our mood and well-being. For those with mental health issues, this fact is particularly important to understand. This raises the question: can architects successfully design a space that has an overall positive influence on the healing process? What integrated elements of the building, in particular, aid in the process while fighting the prejudice and stigma of mental health issues?

Museum Proposal Displays Floating Figurines in Corten Columns of Light

Courtesy of Ziad Abi Karam for Shiogumo
Courtesy of Ziad Abi Karam for Shiogumo

The Kharayeb Archaeological Museum (KAM) was designed by Shiogumo in the agricultural lands of the coastal village Kharayeb, in the south of Lebanon. The site-specific museum was commissioned to preserve and enhance the historical, cultural, and public significance by the directors of the archeological mission and site, Dr. Ida Oggiano (Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico of CNR, Italy) and Dr. Wissam Khalil (Lebanese University).

Courtesy of ShiogumoCourtesy of Ziad Abi Karam for ShiogumoCourtesy of Ziad Abi Karam for ShiogumoCourtesy of Ziad Abi Karam for Shiogumo+ 27

Lit Up: 16 Projects Illuminated by Skylights

North light, south light, warm light and cool light – the diversity of skylights mean they can illuminate any space. Both a window and a ceiling, the hybrid nature of a skylight enables it to be a key element used in architectural spaces. The cool light of a north skylight is instrumental in creating a space to focus and work, while its south-facing counterpart lights up a space with that golden glow. Through its flexibility also come opportunities for expression, from its shape to its angle. Is a skylight a ribbon weaving through a roof panel? Or is it a series of dotted openings creating a mosaic of daylight on the floor? Check out these 16 examples of contemporary spaces lit by this key element below: