Lighting : LIGHTING Apr-May 2018
12 LIGHTING MAGAZINE | April/May 2018 April/May 2018 | LIGHTING MAGAZINE 13 12 LIGHTING MAGAZINE | April/May 2018 FEATURE Ourearliestancestorswouldhavechosenacavewithaccesstolight being a high priority and as our dwellings evolved, daylight became the guiding force in architecture. “Until the mid-1940s, most buildings were designed with daylight as the primary source of illumination, simply because that’s the way architects were educated to design. It wasn’t until after the 1950s that fluorescent lighting technology came in and lighting design became a distinct profession,” says Associate Professor Christopher Meek, a registered architect and the author of two books on daylighting. By the 1960s, electric light was on the march and many believed it should become the sole source of illumination in buildings. Windowless factories and schools were built because daylighting was no longer seen as a functional technique for indoor lighting. “It wasn’t until the energy crisis of the mid- 1970s, and the advent of the sustainable design movement that daylighting came back into focus for architects, lighting designers and manufacturers,” continues Meek, who is also Director of the Integrated Design Lab at the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments and the Center for Integrated Design. Today, “daylighting” is defined as the practice of using windows, openings and reflective surfaces so daylight can light the indoors, and according to Dr Phillip Greenup, Senior Lighting Designer at Arup in Melbourne, there are significant benefits to be had from this type of “integrated lighting design” where daylight and electric light work together. “What I seek to achieve in integrated lighting design is a space that is amazing to experience. Where natural light and electric light work in harmony to create a drama, a visual hierarchy. There are important sustainability and energy- saving motivations too, but, in my opinion, that’s secondary to the visual experience of a space and how people interact with it,” says Greenup who has a PhD in physics where he modelled the different ways of bringing daylight into subtropical high-rise buildings. “The research is starting to bear out the importance of maintaining a connection with the outside world while you’re inside a building,” Greenup continues. “From a psychological perspective, it’s grounding, interesting, variable. You know if it’s dark, drizzly or bright, you can tell whether it’s the end of the day or the beginning. And from a physiological perspective, it has impacts on your circadian clock and helps you set your day-night awareness.” Meek agrees, “I think the dominant forces for the re-emergence of daylight in buildings is the potential energy savings it affords, as well as a recognition that exposure to the day and night- time cycle of light and dark is critical to our health and wellbeing.” Enriching our lives by bringing the outside inside BY PENNY JONES The famous Labrouste lecture room in the French National Library rue Vivienne in Paris, opened in 1868. The library was one of the first really big buildings built around visual tasks and the daylighting design features create a palace of light.
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