What is the purpose of The Daylight Award?

The Daylight Award is an international award that honors and supports daylight research and daylight in architecture, for the benefit of human health, well-being and for the environment. The award puts specific emphasis on the interrelation between theory and practice.

Why is it a dual award for researchers and architects?

Given the importance of daylight, it is crucial that the fields of research and architecture exchange knowledge and work together. The fields must combine theory and practice in order to maximize the benefit of daylight for humans and The Daylight Award is a step in this direction.

Why make the prize specifically dedicated to daylight?

In architecture, successful daylighting requires design considerations at all stages of the building design process – from site planning to the building envelope and interior design. Daylight research should play a crucial role in each stage of this process, guiding the architects and building professionals with the most recent studies and findings in the field.

Daylight research, on the other hand, also needs to look far beyond buildings and our needs inside them. The Daylight Award wants to encourage research in all areas related to the effects of daylight on human health, well-being and performance.

Who has established the award?

The Daylight Award is presented by the philanthropic foundations, VILLUM FONDEN, VELUX FONDEN and VELUX STIFTUNG, established by Villum Kann Rasmussen. The foundations support a wide range of non-profit purposes, in scientific, social, cultural and environmental projects.

VILLUM FONDEN, founded in 1971, supports research in the technical and natural sciences, as well as environmental, social and cultural projects in Denmark and abroad. The foundation awards the Villum Kann Rasmussen Annual Award for Technical and Scientific Research.

VELUX FONDEN, founded in 1981, supports scientific, cultural, social and environmental projects that seek to advance an informed, open, inclusive and sustainable society. The foundation’s priority areas are active senior citizens, ophthalmology and gerontology.

VELUX STIFTUNG, founded in 1980, is a Swiss charitable foundation supporting science in daylight research – especially daylight & humans, daylight & nature, daylight technology – as well as healthy ageing and ophthalmology. The foundation supports high-quality research causing impact in science and/or society.

Can anyone nominate?

Nominations are accepted, internationally, from persons of diverse fields who have a knowledge of and interest in advancing outstanding daylight research and unique use of daylight in architecture.

The Award director actively solicits nominations from past laureates, professional organizations, architects, researchers and other professionals who have an expertise and interest in the field of daylight research and daylight in architecture.

Additionally, the Award director accepts individual nominations from architects, researchers and other professionals for consideration by the jury for The Daylight Award.

Self-nominations are not accepted.

Nominations were accepted until 1 November 2019. Nominations that do not result in the award are automatically carried over to the following year.

What should a nomination include?

There are no forms that need to be filled out. However a website address and a list of completed works or accomplishments are appreciated.

What are the key dates?

Nominations for The Daylight Award 2020 closed on 1st of November 2019. The Jury undertook deliberations early in 2020 and the laureates were announced on the UN/UNESCO International Day of Light, 16 May 2020.

Who is the jury?

The independent jury, from six to nine recognized professionals, serve for multiple years to ensure a balance between past and new members. The jury is entrusted with selecting the laureates every second year. The highly acclaimed jury for The Daylight Award 2020 consisted of:

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), Switzerland; laureate of The Daylight Research Award in 2016, Anne Lacaton, Principal of Lacaton & Vassal Architectes, Paris, France; laureate of The Daylight Architecture Award in 2011 and winner of the EU Mies Award in 2019, Juhani Pallasmaa, Finnish architect, writer, teacher and practicing architect, Aki Kawasaki, Associate Professor of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Ophthalmic Hospital Jules Gonin, Lausanne, Switzerland, Koen Steemers, Professor of Sustainable Design, Cambridge University, UK, and James Carpenter, Founder of James Carpenter Design Associates in New York, US, laureate of The Daylight Architecture Award in 2010.

Will there be a short list of candidates?

There is no list of candidates and all processes in the jury deliberations are confidential.

Who were the laureates so far?

Since 1980, the VELUX Foundations and VELUX Stiftung have  rewarded the following with daylight awards; Jørn Utzon (DK) (1980), Henning Larsen (DK) (1987), Bob Gysin (CH) (2007), Richard Perez (USA) (2008), Peter Zumthor (CH) (2010), James Carpenter (USA) (2010), Lacaton & Vassal (F) (2011), Gigon & Guyer (CH) (2012) and SANAA (JP) (2014),Steven Holl (USA) (2016), Marilyne Andersen (CH) (2016), Hiroshi Sambuichi (JP) (2018), Greg Ward (USA) (2018), Juha Leiviskä (FI) (2020), Russell Foster (UK) (2020) and Henry Plummer (US) (2020).

How can the press get information on the award?

Press may contact Jadrana Curkovic, The Daylight Award Communications, at jadrana@thedaylightaward.com or by calling +385 91 1309 971

Where will the award ceremony be held?

The ceremony in September 2020 was held online. There is no intended connection between the laureates and the ceremony site. The private event will be attended by international guests and guests from the host country who receive invitations from the VELUX Foundations and VELUX Stiftung.

Are there other events hosted by The Daylight Award?

Public lectures presented by the laureates and held at leading institutions will be planned for. Details will be announced on the website.

What do the laureates receive?

Each of the laureates receives a €100,000 grant, a formal nomination certificate and a glass medallion with inscription.