Sunrise to Sunset

29 March, 2014

“Architecture is the learned, game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light.”

Le Corbusier 1923

Sometimes I wonder whether architecture can exist without light? I think the answer is no. It would be like asking whether can humans exist without water? Or whether a sail boat can exist without the wind? The natural elements are so vital to our lives as humans and our architecture. For me, as an architect, passive daylight and sunlight is the most captivating. When the sun rises every morning I find it an almost spiritual event that I don’t fully understand, but am very grateful for.

If you take a moment to actually sit and look at how light enters a space, it differs tremendously. The hues and colours created by shadows as they fall on actual objects is beautiful. Then, if these objects or materials are reflective, absorbing, dark, light or even golden all have contrasting affects on that entering light as it punctures into the building.

On a recently finished project, it was one of those typical London spring days when there was sun and rain simultaneously. Small pools of water temporarily gathered on a roof light and as the sunlight pierced through this water and onto the walls below, it formed such a beautiful shimmering light on the internal timber finishes. No architect could have planned for such a moment of course, but I was grateful to have given the sun the opportunity of this splendour.