Make space bring out the best from people by providing spaces filled with daylight. Simple design techniques can boost the effectiveness of a building, making the people in it more productive, happier and healthier. However, good daylighting solutions demand an integrated building design approach. Daylighting design should be more holistic: developing solutions that are part of the main concept, while meeting visual, thermal and energy needs. We should discover how the sun shapes our experience, and apply this lesson to building design from the start.
Daylighting and Architectural Movements in the Past
The Bauhaus school was responsible for a paradigm shift in the design of buildings and continues to influence designers today. One of the most influential Bauhaus themes is the role of light in shaping interior spaces and manifesting concepts. In Bauhaus thinking, light and transparency signify openness, freedom, democracy, coherence and health. This translates into designs that use a lot of glass, allowing natural light to flow into buildings and connecting the interior to the world outside.
Bauhaus luminaries with a particular interest in light included Hirschfeld-Mack who demonstrated the way coloured light mixed to form white light, and Albers, who used shadow and light to ‘sculpt’ space. László Moholy-Nagy believed that art only acquired meaning when it reflected light. His ideas inspired generations of architects, artists and designers far beyond the Bauhaus and his own lifetime. For example, Le Corbusier believed in the importance of windows as a means of channelling natural light into interior spaces. His fenêtre en longeur, or long horizontal window has become an architectural archetype.
Some Daylighting Design Trends Today
- Greater client awareness of sustainability and the health-related benefits of naturally lit environments
- Natural light is perceived to be as important as internal useable square footage, leading to more exciting spaces with interconnecting vertical connections
- Technological advances in thermally efficient thin-framed glazing, allow architects to explore a greater variety of envelopes and apertures
- The intrusion of solid framing elements has been reduced, allowing for purer sculptural forms
The Most Effective Strategies for Engaging Natural Light
- Carefully consider how light enters, illuminates and animates a building and the physiological effect it can have on the occupants of each space.
- Take inspiration from natural light in nature and art, and keep returning to natural light in sacred architecture.
- Start by exploring the different ways to get natural light into a building and balance these with functional and spatial requirements.
- Consider the materials of each element and how the light will play across them, and they add to the visual understanding of the building.
The Danpal Approach to Daylighting
At Danpal, we believe that well-designed buildings should offer as much natural daylight as possible while still maintaining a comfortable internal environment.
Danpal® offers a brilliant range of daylight harnessing architectural solutions designed for building envelopes. Danpal provides the right tools for planning the most effective light openings – by integrating appropriate products which exploit the optimal level of energy resources.
A visionary in architectural technologies, Danpal® was the first company to develop the Danpalon® translucent panel standing seam system. For over three decades, Danpal’s® systems have been used around the world in architectural projects spanning commercial, education, transport, health, sports and high-tech industries.
By using state-of-the-art software, Danpal provides lighting and solar energy simulations, ensuring the optimal planning of daylighting. Danpal is unique in offering simulation solutions – reflecting its 30 year heritage as a specialist in daylight architectural innovation.