The Daylight Award Community
What does daylight mean to you?
Daylight is the only non-negotiable quality of a space: it brings life, happiness, clarity, and good health. Whereas all other features are improvable, a space that does not have light is doomed.
How do you work with daylight in your research and projects?
Our work as environmental consultants – with a background in architecture – is to properly quantify light and its potential. We work in different climates, with different architects, and in different contexts, which brings us to find different ways of quantifying daylight: from the small scale of an apartment, an art installation, and up to entire cities at once. Actually, we are working on a large-scale project to quantify the daylight and sunlight potential of the existing building stock, by making calculations on each building envelope at scale.
Which project/publication describes your work the best?
– A book that we are preparing with Lacaton & Vassal about their work: It’s nice today. It values their winter gardens as adaptable features that bring daylight and sunlight all year round, freshness in summer and warmth in winter
– From the already published ones, I would say a research paper about rural houses for the countryside of Argentina by Grupo Austral.
According to you, what is the most important focus for the future?
Strict thermal regulations are producing dark sad spaces. Architects design large windows and engineers recommend very low visible transmittances to deal with the summer heat, which blocks most of the daylight. The most important focus for the future is to educate architects in all parameters affecting the environmental performance to make more informed decisions. Having a deeper understanding of the conditions existing building stock – the project we are working in – will also allow everyone to make more informed decisions for the future, especially for renovations.
Having moved from a climate where sunlight is a given (Buenos Aires) to a climate where daylight is so scarce (London) 6 years ago was a revelation of the value of daylight and sunlight; how it changes the mood, how much I appreciate a ray of sun in the room. Now when I look at some paintings – Vermeer, Monet, Hopper – I do feel the preciousness of light. In architecture, I believe the approach of Lacaton & Vassal is one of a kind, their spaces are full of life, full of daylight, and the thermal aspect is not compromised, on the contrary, it is even enhanced.