Evolving
architecture



In November 2016 The Daylight Award of the VELUX Foundations was given to Steven Holl and Marilyne Andersen – for daylight in architecture and daylight research respectively.
   The relationships between structure, material and light are at the core of Holl’s approach to architecture. The jury noted that he is known for his poetic idiom, manipulation of lighting, respect for materials and adapting his buildings to their local surroundings.
   According to the jury, the award for daylight research went to Andersen because she is an outstanding scholar and teacher, as well as a diligent researcher who has demonstrated a talent for initiating and directing daylight research that affects research and architecture environments. Holl and Andersen are both known to spend a lot of time at universities, conveying their knowledge and skills to the coming generation of architects and researchers.
   But how do the results of Marilyne Andersen’s research find their way into building design? And how can Steven Holl’s ingenious spatial concepts be shared in the future built reality?
   The accumulated knowledge about the benefit of daylight for human beings and our best practises in this area needs to be shared and spread by bridging science and practice, and by sharing beyond professional disciplines if we are to change architecture and develop healthier buildings for people.
   We need to learn from building users’ experience and we need an exponential learning curve to encompass new experience as well as new generations of designers and users. This will only be possible if we have access to users’ feedback – and if we are capable of processing it professionally. Tools are at hand – but we need to make better use of them. This issue of Daylight/Architecture features these topics, from the design process to the generation of knowledge in architecture.
In the first chapter, Vellachi Ganesan describes the task facing architects and engineers: the creation of buildings and spaces that protect us like a second or third skin at the same time as providing us with daylight and fresh air, while readily adapting themselves to all our activities and simultaneously enriching our sensory experience.
   In the second chapter, Marilyne Andersen and Steven Holl share their thoughts on architectural design processes, the role of daylight in architecture, their experiences as teachers and their goals and hopes for the future.
   Chapter three presents five ‘bridge builders’ suggested by Andersen and Holl who reflect on question like − what decides the success or failure of interdisciplinary planning processes? And what role do our human needs play in building design?
   The answers make it clear that the benefits of daylight for health, well-being and productivity are becoming more and more important in discussions with clients. Public health is a valuable commodity and more productive, motivated employees make for a fast return on any investment by their employers. Buildings in which people spend up to 90% of their time today can make an important contribution to both these ends.
   At the same time, existing knowledge of the benefits of daylight needs to be constantly refreshed. Architects must always be ready to go and learn how their work is used, requiring a willingness to revisit buildings after their handover to the users. Rarely have monitoring processes and the post- occupancy evaluation of buildings been more important than they are today. For this reason, the last article – chapter four – in this issue describes how the well-being of building users can be measured in order to create a knowledge base for the design of better buildings in the future.
   We hope that this issue of Daylight/ Architecture contributes to the discussion about how we can design healthier buildings and how the designs can be implemented in practice.

Enjoy the read!
The VELUX Group