Daylight Investigations

Hospitality & Light


Kristyan Calletor, Daniela Diaz, Hajara Nida Hameed


Vincent Hui


Ryerson University



Hospitality & Light

Project Description

During the summer months, Toronto’s lakeshore is an actively engaged public space where many people enjoy taking walks, biking and sitting down. However, our investigations of the site demonstrated an absence of shading throughout the day. Consequently, people can not enjoy this space as the Toronto sun rays are powerful. Additionally, it is very dark during the evening/night time, which can be a safety hazard. Taking this into consideration, we have developed the Alba, which acts as an optimal shading device, mimicking heliotropism in plants by rotating along the sun’s azimuth and altitude. To rotate, the Alba is programmed with a motor located in the base of the structure. It is equipped with photovoltaic panels attached to the steel trusses; these collect a specific amount of sunlight- rendering nocturnal illumination. The triangular shape of the PVC fabric allows the superior structural members to open and close in a linear form with the sunrise and sunset. Not only can this innovative device be utilized in Toronto’s lakeshore, but it can also be adapted into various locations around the world due to its prefabricated design and easy assembly. We believe that the control of light is an essential element in architectural design. That said, a surplus of light can negatively affect one’s experience. The Alba generates an opportunity to create exceptional and functional environments while protecting people from intense sun rays. One will be able to relax and clear their state of mind while taking shelter underneath the structure. With its overall slim appearance and aesthetic qualities, the Alba takes inspiration from nature and brings forth better health and well being. It can be used in less built and appealing areas to create a better environment and space for locals to use. Furthermore, this design has a low environmental impact due to its choice of locally resourced and recycled material. Our model can be used in various locations and even hotter climates around the world.