Daylight in Buildings

Airborne Light Cell


Zinan Chi


Georgia Daskalakis


Washington Universityin St. Louis


United States

Airborne Light Cell

Project Description

Airborne Light Cell The high density of the current population leads to higher buildings. How to provide enough natural light to interior space is essential. The Airborne Light Cell, a residential and multiple used tower, provides a chance to rethink about daylight in skyscrapers and potential influence in people’s lifestyle. The Airborne Light Cells, holding each living unit individually, free up the sources of light inside. Introducing direct sunlight from windows is the traditional way to bring natural light into space. With a linear core structure, the Airborne Light Cell holds each living unit individually by the cantilever. Each unit is leveraged by the storage space in the back. Its left and right wall are supported by trusses. The ceiling and floor surfaces are held by beams. Imagine a living unit as a cube: there is only one surface of a cube occupied by the structure, leaving the other five surfaces free to welcome daylight. Other than three walls, the floor and ceiling also have the potential to bring light in. The design decision is that -- the ceiling, front window, and right window are occupied with switchable glass; the left surface is an opaque cladding with a reflective outer layer; the floor and structural wall are maintained as concrete. With switchable glass, the residents can adjust the glazing between transparent and opaque by their needs. Residents can set to the transparent glazing to bring the daylight in, while they can enjoy movies by turning surfaces into opaque screens. With enough daylight, the left section in each unit works as a living and dining space. The reflective surface from the neighbor can enlarge the interior space and bring more daylight to the unit by reflection. The individuality also heads to a digital lifestyle. Corresponding to the COVID-19, we are experimenting with working from home, online teaching, and online socializing. The Airborne Light Cell is also a proposal for reducing inside communal space but creates more outside collective greenness. The emphasis on individuality in the Airborne Light Cell is a future lifestyle.