Daylight in Buildings

Light nostalgia in multi-story housing


Martyna Stolarz


Olivier Jauniaux


London South Bank University


United Kingdom

Light nostalgia in multi-story housing

Project Description

The most prevalent housing type in the United Kingdom are multi-story houses and despite large windows. the daylighting problem still exists in many rooms. The yearning for daylight is particularly intense in time of lockdown when the opportunities for leaving the house are limited and for many people, it means worse working conditions, including but not limited to lack of suitable daylighting. The limitation of multi-story housing compared to single-story is lack of access to the roof on lower floors, which therefore offers fewer possibilities of upgrading for better light performance. One solution to this problem is, of course, increasing the floor space, often compromising the size of the garden, just as important in current circumstances. On the other hand, moving towards the garden without compromising its floor space would be possible – if we changed the tilt of our walls. This configuration enables an increase of surface areas, creating a base for a simple and effective workspace. I have produced three simple models of a common type of housing with different window arrangement to see if and how much light enters the building. I admit that the proposal, which is the top plan, does not admit as much light as the middle one, which is fully open. At the same time I am aware of other restrictions, such as heat loss when the windows face North, and therefore decided to cover a significant area of the wall with translucent materials (for instance, FRP). It is important to add that the material itself has good insulating quality with decent light reflectivity. This gives the possibility of removing the brick wall entirely and replacing it with translucent polymers to maximize sun gain outside of the window area.