“Daylight craft: Reclaiming a culture of carefully crafting architectural...” by Werner Osterhaus
Architect and Professor of Lighting Design Research
Department of Engineering at Aarhus University
Lecture from the 7th VELUX Daylight Symposium “Healthy & climate-friendly architecture– from knowledge to practice” that took place in Berlin on 3-4 May 2017. For more information visit http://thedaylightsite.com
Over several decades of architectural design, daylighting design details in buildings seem to have lost much of their rich and expressive language and with it their visual delight. Windows and their surroundings have become less articulated in form, function and material use. While many older buildings use traditional craft methods to carefully express functional and aesthetic aspects of daylight openings and their interior or exterior surroundings through highly developed details (e.g. joints between different elements and materials or functions), contemporary buildings often lack an appreciation for a high level of craft and thus the visual delight of architectural quality.
The traditional know-how about effective ways to design for daylight and control it seems to have all but disappeared. The daylighting design of many new buildings appears to be driven by the need to reduce construction time and labour cost. With our senses relying to about 80% on visual information, revitalising visual delight and focusing on unique architectural daylighting solutions for their respective context has the potential to add a bioregional flavour to our built environment. The paper reviews historical and contemporary examples of fenestration design in their context and suggests a method to rediscover the joy of architectural playfulness and functional vernacular design language and meaning in the development of contemporary daylighting designs.
The method addresses aspects of daylight, sunlight and ventilation in light of today’s desire for delightful sustainable and energy- efficient buildings with a bioregional and vernacular flavour which offer their users the necessary adaptability for future directions. It includes an assessment of architectural character, and of technical and technological performance requirements (e.g. visual properties, energy transfer, and maintenance requirements), and provides concepts for the effective integration of the many potentially conflicting design challenges. Werner Osterhaus is an architect and Professor of Lighting Design Research at the Department of Engineering at Aarhus University in Denmark. His passion lies in applying design, technology and science to architectural (day)lighting to ensure well-being and pleasant experiences for building occupants and a sustainable built environment.
Werner has been involved in daylighting research and design since he first started working with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Windows and Daylighting research group in 1987. Since 1994, he has been a full-time academic in schools of architecture in the USA, New Zealand and Germany, and since 2009 in a school of engineering in Denmark. He focuses on lighting design, sustainable architecture and building environmental science. Werner has lead and contributed to numerous national and international research projects, published many scientific articles, and regularly serves as reviewer for research funding agencies and international journals. Presentation from 7th VELUX Daylight Symposium, for more information please visit http://thedaylightsite.com.