LFA Architects

The Power of Light

February 3, 2015

With shorter winter days, we spend more time indoors and come to better appreciate sunlight. Architects harness both natural and artificial light to enhance the experience of space and time. Let’s look at a few examples.

Figure 1. Interior view of Church of the Light, Japan. Photograph.

Tado Ando is a Japanese architect with projects built all over the world; some of his most revered buildings feature sunlight. Strong beams of light shine through reinforced concrete walls in horizontal and vertical shards, creating an intersection on the main wall behind the altar in the Church of the Light (Osaka, Japan, 1989) subtly representing a cross (1).

Figure 2. Interior oculus at Fulton Center, Manhattan, NY. Photograph.

The recent completion of the $1.4 Billion Fulton Center, a transit hub in downtown Manhattan features an atrium, designed by James Carpenter Design Associates and Grimshaw Architect, connecting commuters to daylight (2). The oculus shown below is surrounded by reflective aluminum panels which reflect the sky and create an inspired interior. Termed by MTA’s chairman as “New York’s next great public space”, it is easy to see why. Watch the video Sky Reflector-Net© installation for a fly-through of the installation of the atrium at Fulton Center. (3)

Light can be introduced to interiors in several ways, even on a modest scale. This is the first requirement an architect considers before fine-tuning artificial light. New York City introduced a code in 2011 requiring that an additional Energy Analysis (EN) sheet be submitted with filing plans showing that at least 50% of new light fixtures use high efficacy bulbs such as compact fluorescent or LED. According to NYC.gov, the 2014 New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) requires 75% of new lights fixtures to use high efficacy bulbs on applications filed on or after January 1, 2015 (4).

Lights_LFA Penthouse and PoulsenFigure (left) LFA Apartment Combination in Manhattan. Figure (right) Louis Poulsen Circle Pendant designed by Mikkel Beedholm/MKHR arkitekter.

How does LFA solve interior light issues? In a penthouse apartment combination in Manhattan, LFA advised on recessed lighting in a remodeled kitchen (Figure 3 above left) to complement the warmth of natural light from the window. Figure 4, above is an example of an elegant glare free LED pendant which would work in a modern setting. Every city has Codes for Light & Air depending on the use of the space (residential, office, manufacturing, etc.).

These are just a few examples of how architects work with light. For more information on how to bring more light into your home, contact LFA Architects at: LFAA@aol.com or 212-463-9519, or visit our website: http://www.lfaa.nyc


See below for Photo Credits and Bibliography





February 3, 2014

The Power of Light Photo Credits

Figure 1. Taken by Bergmann (ja:Image:Ibaraki_Kasugaoka_Church_Light_Cross.JPG) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Figure 2. By MusikAnimal (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Figure 3. Taken by Lynne Funk. View of kitchen in Penthouse Apartment Combination, Manhattan.

Figure 4. Designed by Mikkel Beedholm/KHR arkiteckter, for Louis Poulsen. Available on Lumens.com. (http://www.lumens.com/lp-circle-pendant-by-louis-poulsen-LPLP85538.html)

The Power of Light Bibliography

1. “Church of the Light.” Wikipedia. Web. 7 January 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Light

2. Gonchar, Joann, AIA. “Lower Manhattan’s New Front Door.” Architectural Record, 10 November 2014. Web. 7 January 2015. http://archrecord.construction.com/news/2014/11/141110-Fulton-Center-Opens.asp

3. Enclos. “Sky Reflector-Net installation at the Fulton Center.” Vimeo. Web. 14 January 2015.

4. “About the 2014 New York City Energy Conservation Code. NYC Buildings. Web 14 January 2015. http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/codes_and_reference_materials/nycecc_about.shtml