Natural Light and Architecture Essay

What is natural light? Natural light falls into one of two categories. First is daylight which is all around us and comes from an overcast of the sky, it is nondirectional so no matter which way a window is facing it will pick up day light but sunlight is directional. Clearly sunlight comes from a particular place and that light mores during the day. That is the key which bring about the animation of life to the spaces within a building. Natural light is a fundamental element of architecture.

It is a powerful and poetic yet practical survey that provides an original and timeless approach to contemporary architecture. You learn to identify different types of natural light and recognize their benefits in various situations. I feel that every architect should be familiar with light. If not in artistic sense, at least he should know how important for people natural light is. It affects mood, health, and visual character of space in which we live or work. Architecture can, by all means, affect the amount of natural light a home or building receives.

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The variables of both position in relation to the landscape and the architectural features of the structure in question can greatly augment or inhibit the ability of the sun to illuminate its interior. How it does this is in part a function of its location, but it is also determined by its design and layout. The landscape in which a structure is located along with the materials used in its construction goes a long way in determining how much natural light is possible. By adjusting these elements or (in the case of the landscape) by adapting to them, the amount of natural light can be maximized.

Not only can this make a difference when deciding on artificial light fixtures, it can also contribute directly to lower cooling costs in the summertime and reduced heating costs in the winter. Take Tadao Ando for example, In all his work natural light is an important element. That work, primarily in reinforced concrete, defines spaces in unique new ways that allow constantly changing patterns of light and wind in all his structures, from homes and apartment complexes to places of worship, public museums and commercial shopping centers.

Natural Light also cuts down on the need for artificial illumination, of course, this is most effective in the daylight hours, but any amount of energy saved counts. Natural light can also be utilized as a source of heat. When light is sufficiently trapped in a space, it generates heat. In the winter, this can be quite beneficial because the heat energy that is stored reduces in small part the need for electric or gas-powered heat. In the summer, architecture that makes good use of natural light can help keep structures cool as well.

Using natural light efficiently does not mean just letting it in, it also means directing it in such a way as to keep the home cool. I feel natural light is one of the most important aspects in architecture when you are designing a building. Louie Kahn, the famous American architecture, said that brick wall never knew how good they were until they were struck but sunlight. It is that quality of natural light that bring the texture and color in materials that brings the life in those spaces, which I feel is very important in architecture today


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