Light-zone(s): as Concept and Tool


Vol. 4 No. 1 (2007)
Research Articles
April 5, 2007


Daylight is essential to the experience of an architectural space. Nevertheless, amongst the handful of predominantly scientific methods available to assess daylight in architecture, there are only a few considering the spatial and form-giving characteristics of daylight. This paper investigates light-zone(s) as concept and tool, which can be taken as a point of departure for a new method to perceive, consider and analyse daylight in architecture. As concept, light-zone(s) are areas, fields or zones of light. It is a way of considering a space's daylight as (forms of) bubbles or spheres of light, which as light-zones can be compressed, expanded, combined, exploded, etc., all according to the character of 'the meeting' between the light-zone(s) and the space itself (inclusive of the space'scontent). Thus, the daylight in a space can be regarded asa composition of light-zones.As tool, light-zone(s) are (spatial) groupings of the lightingvariables (intensity, direction, distribution and colour), whichare significant to the space and form-giving characteristicsof light. That is to say, the light-zone(s) tool is the point ofdeparture for a method of creating a spatial ‘grasp' on daylighting variables in a given space. The relation between the light-zone(s) concept and tool respectively can be described as follows: On the one level light-zone(s) can be explored as an architectural idea or notion, thus belonging more to the field of architectural theory. On another more practice-driven level, light-zone(s) can be articulated and specified in relation to lighting technology.