19. Jul 2009

No. 67 – Daylight

Juli/Aug 2009

Positively out of control
Daylight effects that work on their own: airport terminal in Copenhagen /DK.
Text: Gad Giladi
Copenhagen Airport is considered to be one of the best airports in the world. Structurally, the building is unusual: elements made of curved steel form distinct pointed arches, which has resulted in nicknames for the building such as the “Whale”. Daylight dictates the atmosphere as the traveller moves through the structure. As the natural light and the weather change, so the light entering through the carefully placed windows and skylights is reflected by the exposed structure, changing dynamically and adding a further dimension to the spatial experience.

The ‘hole’ story
Terminal 2 at Mexico City Airport.
Text: Prof. Susanne Brenninkmeijer
To allow daylight into a building it makes sense to create openings in the facade. In conventional buildings these openings generally take the form of windows. The approach taken by Serrano Architects for the unique facade and ceiling design they developed for the new Terminal 2 building at Mexico City Airport is a different story altogether.

Starry, starry…day!
Good lighting for good wine.
Text: Amber Ga Young Lee
Stone is still one of the basic materials used for building, and probably has the longest history in the development of architecture over the millennia. With stone we associate parameters such as durability and roughness, but also safety and protection. Stone has the appearance of being uncompromisingly rigid and unyielding. Stone architecture translates into the same impression. And yet even this, the hardest of all building materials harbours apparently friendly, not to say inviting qualities – the right light can soften the hardest core.

Natural light: it’s the real thing
Text: Dr. Martin Lupton
Technology has an important role to play – there is no doubt that a big part of the future is LED and, more importantly, better control of light in use, but professional lighting design also has an important role to play. If we just look for a technological sticking plaster then we will just be pushing back the curve a bit – the world is growing, the technology might be more efficient, but we will simply end up using more of it. It is a solution, but a temporary one – we need to think in terms of decision architecture. We need to change the way people (architects, clients and end-users) think about the use and application of light and the greatest opportunity to do this is in the promotion and use of natural light. I don’t think I could find anyone that would argue that sustainability is not a big issue in lighting design – over the last few years, many opinions have been expressed on the subject by many of the leading figures in lighting design. Opinions range from sustainability and the legislation it brings with it being the harbinger of death for the profession, to the greatest opportunity we have ever had to achieve the recognition of the profession. Personally, I would lean towards the latter – finally there is an issue that people want to talk about in relation to lighting – we just need to get our collective acts together and focus as an industry on the right approach. In my mind, this is not the indiscriminate and political application of legislation and numerical criteria but an holistic approach that considers all of the important elements of sustainability – social, economic and environmental.

Shadow images
On the possibilities of designing with shadow.

Text and Photos: Ilka Schmid
There is a lot of talk about working or designing with light. New technical developments appear regularly on the market, offering even further innovative means for illuminating spaces or creating special spatial experiences for any use or event. But we are also becoming more aware of the negative effects of too much light – the lack of darkness restricts the work of astronomers and the enjoyment of star gazers, disrupts ecological processes and affects our hormonal balance. A lot of light is thus not necessarily a positive thing – too much light can cause substantial damage. Given the increased light pollution and the mass of electric light we are subjected to, is it not high time to make way for more darkness, and to consider how to use shadow more purposefully and for effect?

Daylighting in office buildings
Thoughts on the illumination of office spaces – past, present and future.
Text: Paula Longato
The office environment as a place for carrying out mainly administrative work has been in existence for a very long time. It has undergone many changes in size and location within the city structure, and developed greatly in the last century thanks to different management theories. The latter gave shape to the space and dictated the functionality and friendliness of it. The driving forces behind the evolution of office buildings in modern times were always the maximization of profit and efficiency. Status, office organization and ecology were generally subordinate to this goal.

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