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.
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).
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).
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