2016 Laureates

The Daylight Award is given in two categories: Daylight Research and Daylight in Architecture

The Laureates of The Daylight Award 2016 were Steven Holl, for Daylight in Architecture, and Marilyne Andersen, for Daylight Research. Read more about the 2016 laureates here:

The Daylight Award is given in two categories: Daylight Research and Daylight in Architecture

And the laureates for the 2016 award are…


Marilyne Andersen (CH)

Marilyne Andersen, Professor of Sustainable Construction Technologies and Dean of the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL).

Marilyne Andersen is an outstanding academic, educator and an active researcher who has demonstrated excellent abilities to initiate and lead challenging daylight research, which will continue to impact the architectural and research communities. For her and her team, the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Performance-Integrated Design (LIPID) at EPFL, exemplary daylighting research is not just discovering and quantifying the relationship between daylighting design strategies and building performance but also addressing and analysing daylight effects on the health, well-being, performance and experience of building users.

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Marilyne Andersen is at the forefront of a field that bridges gaps between disciplines, such as building science and chronobiology, as well as between theory and practice. She is leading a new wave of research that quantifies factors that focus on the experiential qualitative aspects of daylight that reach beyond intensity and colour. She is particularly interested in embedding that knowledge into design tools and goal-driven design approaches that can influence the early stages of the architectural design process, which ultimately would deliver sustainable and workable architectural solutions. Her work draws not only on sophisticated building modelling expertise, but also on observation and monitoring of building occupants in response to daylight, notably to its temporal and spatial influence as a function of the history and circadian responses of individuals. The human-centric focus is particularly rich in the development of simulation techniques that address users’ perception and responses to architectural space and dynamic daylight conditions. The impact of this research stream is creating new knowledge and opportunities for experience-based daylight design, broadening our awareness of daylight design to extend beyond building science and into the human behavioural and social sciences.

Her current projects are related to advanced glazing and shading systems, modelling the potential implications of light on human comfort and behaviour, the visualisation of daylighting performance and creating new metrics in architectural design. Her inter-disciplinary research interests are primarily related to building performance and include visual and thermal comfort; performance visualisation; design implications of daylight on circadian photoreception and health; daylight redirecting devices, and; video-based approaches in photometry.


Steven Holl (USA)

Steven Holl, principal of Steven Holl Architects, New York City and Beijing

Steven Holl’s inspiring work is based on a continuous process of exploration. Over more than three decades he has integrated an architectural integrity with a language that expresses the atmospheric qualities of space and light. The relationships between structure, material and light can be experienced throughout his work. The skilful translation of these qualities into spatial identity, attained through his experimentation and curiosity in the phenomenology and perception of space, convincingly bridges the empirical scientific and the intuitive world and makes his work unique.

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Daylight is vital to our health and well-being.  An architect might intrinsically understand the value of daylight for human well-being and embed daylight thinking in the architectural concept, but the art of imagination and intuition can easily become distracted within the fast pace and complexity of today’s global influences developing a project and actually constructing and building it. As a dedicated academic, Steven Holl has influenced a generation of architecture students through his continuous exploration of architectural space and is an exemplary role model who holds a strong belief in the philosophy and art of daylight. His very personal process of exploring program and spatial expression, a process where the hand and spirit unite, reconnects us to the hierarchy of humanism in architecture. His projects continue to inspire both architects and researchers to engage with design informed by daylight. He is a team player with the enthusiastic ability to share his creative convictions.

In search for a particular spatial identity, daylight always serves as the essential material in Steven Holl’s work. Experimentation and intuition are part of a holistic process that embraces the imagination, while science and technology are deployed to refine a vision founded on light. The high value of Holl’s work cannot be reduced to the single aspect of light but is always the result of a larger search for a masterful architectural expression.

The journey of Steven Holl’s highly original architecture is expressed in the intensive development process of his buildings regardless of their scale or programs, and has always been proven to create a deeply experiential and emotive architecture. The evidence of his approach can be seen among a diverse range of projects across the world, responding to different climates and cultural backgrounds. People are the key driver, their social behaviour giving direction and inspiration towards the identity of the physical space. From a relatively small project like `Storefront Gallery´ in New York to a more speculative earlier project `Spatial Retaining Bars´ in Phoenix, to the `Kiasma Museum´ in Helsinki or the `Linked Hybrid Apartment Blocks´ in Beijing they can all be read as a body of work that has never given up on the possibility of architecture, to explore and expand its qualities through the skilful relationship between structure, material and light. The result is buildings which not only perform but are delightful.