Bali 27th June 2013
Daylight is of course the cheapest form of lighting and it’s free, but incorporating daylight in the lighting design is not necessarily an easy task certainly in the tropics!. The subject of daylight came up during our design coordination meetings today in Bali where we are we investigating the option to “open up” the lobby as an semi open air atrium as it is located between surrounding buildings. The whole ambiance of a resort is pretty much open with natural airflow in most public areas, however in the tropics we also have to deal with rain sometimes more than normal due to monsoon seasons! So logically we wish to “cover up” the space and a glass like structure is being proposed by the architect to allow natural daylight to come in but at the same time allow protection against rain. But the structure somehow needs to be “floating” to allow natural air circulation to continue as the whole idea is to do away with air-conditioning. A complex challenge that includes lighting, airflow, temperature and rain control…
How do you tackle the night time lighting of a main skylight which during the day is a key feature of the space? We often see failed attempts with indirect uplights which end up reflected in the skylight glass panels. In my design directory skylights need a very careful lighting approach as I definitely do not want to see any lights only its impact on the skylight feature or the space below. Either we integrate the lighting harmoniously in the architectural skylight structure or we move the lights outside and reproduce an artificial version of the daylight effect, in both cases a challenging undertaking and this is on top of the challenges the architects faces to resolve the non-lighting issues mentioned above!
Light Watch 4-115: Day lighting in some great buildings…the Reichstag in Berlin is probably one of the most well-known.