luz e sombra na arquitetura
LIGHT AND SHADOW IN ARCHITECTURE
ombre et lumière dans l'architecture

21 de out de 2011

the importance of daylight 2

DAYLIGHT AND AESTHETICS

FROM THE NARROW BEAMS OF LIGHT ILLUMINATING THE STATUES IN ANCIENT GREEK TEMPLES, THE DRAMATIC CONTRASTS OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS IN THE BAROQUE CHURCHES, TO THE INFUSION OF LIGHT IN THE RONCHAMP CHAPEL, DAYLIGHT HAS ALWAYS BEEN USED AS A FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENT OF ARCHITECTURE, ACTING AS PLASTIC COMPOSITIONAL MATERIAL. APART FROM SATISFYING OTHER HUMAN NEEDS, BUILDINGS SHOULD SATISFY EMOTIONAL NEEDS, AFFORDING SENSORIAL PLEASURE AND THE SKILFUL PLAY WITH LIGHT IS ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE MEANS BY WHICH SUCH A PURPOSE CAN BE ACHIEVED.

THE ROLE OF DAYLIGHT TRANSCENDS THE FUNCTION OF ILLUMINATION. IT HAS ALSO BEEN A SYMBOL OF “CLEANLINESS, PURITY, KNOWLEDGE AND HEAVEN” (MOORE, 1985). RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS HAVE HISTORICALLY EMPLOYED LIGHT “TO AROUSE FEELINGS OF MYSTICISM AND TO CONVEY THE SACREDNESS OF A PLACE” (PLUMMER, 2009). 

MOREOVER, SHADOWS INTENSIFY THE EXPRESSIVENESS OF LIGHT AND THE PLAY OF BOTH CAN BE USED TO EMPHASISE THE COMPLEXITY OF THE SPATIAL COMPOSITION, ARTICULATING SPACES. IT CAN ALSO DEFINE SPACES, PUTTING IN RELIEF A PARTICULAR AREA OR REVEALING A PARTICULAR OBJECT.

PLUMMER (2009) MAKES A BRILLIANT ANALOGY SAYING THAT, FOR A MUSICIAN, THE VALUE OF A VIOLIN OR A PIANO LIES IN THE SOUNDS IT GENERATES AND SIMILARLY, FOR A VIRTUOSO ARCHITECT, A BUILDING IS AN INSTRUMENT WITH WHICH SUBLIME EFFECTS ARE CREATED OUT OF NATURAL LIGHT. 

REFERENCES  

Moore, Fuller, Concepts and Practice of Architectural Daylighting (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1985) 

Plummer, Henry, The Architecture of Natural Light (London: Thames & Hudson, 2009)

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