Natural light is a vital element for creating living spaces that can enhance mental wellbeing and productivity and bring a sense of comfort to our everyday lives.
Following a shift to a more home-centered lifestyle, we’ve come to realize the importance of having spaces connected to the outdoors that not only inspire us but also deliver the quality of life we desire even in the midst of crowded urban areas.
A way to achieve this is by bringing in more natural light through efficient window orientation, skylights, glass walls, and spatial configurations. Also known as daylighting, this practice can help us capture perfect views of the outside world and create visually stimulating interiors while minimizing energy consumption.
Numerous studies highlight the beneficial impact natural light has on our physical and mental health.
Not only does sunlight help us regulate our circadian rhythm and enjoy restful sleep, but it also boosts our mood and ability to focus and reduces the risk of depression and anxiety by triggering the release of serotonin.
While daylight has an essential role in maintaining a happy and healthy life, it does more than that. It brings life to our homes and defines the spaces we interact with every day.
When a living space has enough natural light flowing in, it gains more depth and appears more comfortable and inviting. Every color becomes more vibrant and objects and surfaces come into the spotlight, guiding our view to beautiful, intricate details usually left unnoticed.
Then, as the day progresses, the walls and floors become the stage of a mesmerizing play of sunlight and shadows. From the shadow of rustling leaves to the soft golden sunset glow, each such detail creates an atmosphere, an emotion we associate with a space. Not to mention, it builds a connection with the natural world.
To determine the character of a space and the way people experience it, we need innovative solutions that maximize the amount of natural light entering a building. In the next section, we will briefly present the most used methods for bringing more direct natural light into a living space.
A skylight is a widely used zenithal lighting system that involves a horizontal opening strategically placed in the roof of a building to capture sunlight and diffuse it across specific indoor spaces.
Apart from providing a beautiful view of the sky, skylights are a great daylighting solution for urban living spaces where conventional openings cannot provide adequate light.
The most famous skylight ever built is the oculus of the Pantheon, which was built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. The opening in the Pantheon’s impressive domed ceiling is the single source of light within the construction and symbolizes the sacred connection with the supernatural world.
Windows perform various roles, including allowing natural light into a room, optimizing ventilation, creating a view, and connecting the indoors with the outside world.
When it comes to daylighting design, windows in the north and south facades of a building usually have better light performance than those facing east or west.
At the same time, the quality of light filtered through a window can vary depending on location, time of the year, and time of the day. To this end, a sun path diagram can be used to achieve the best solutions in terms of window size, shape, orientation, and position.
In terms of visual impact, windows are perfect for creating a focal point in a room. While a small window can frame a view similar to a painting on a wall, larger windows can capture a panorama that will dominate a space and attract every glace.
However, a building can also include modern clerestory windows placed above eye level that provide ambient light and natural ventilation without compromising privacy.
Glass walls can add a modern feel to a building while building a strong connection with the exterior world.
Glass walls help increase the natural light penetrating the interior of a building and provide occupants with picturesque views of the surrounding space—a back garden, a park, or other urban green spaces.
Modern designs often use structural glass panels to create a seamless glass facade with no visible frames or fixings. This type of glass also supports the creation of bespoke facade designs such as curving glazed walls.
At Ramona Albert Design & Architecture, we strive to design built environments that have a strong connection with the natural world and enhance the occupants’ quality of life. Our technology-driven approach enables us to maintain a sharp focus on innovation and sustainability and deliver high-quality results for our clients.
If you have a project you want to discuss, please contact us and set up a consultation call. Our team is here to guide you through the entire process and turn your ideas into elegant and harmonious spaces.