Daylight in Buildings

The Light Sawyer


Anna Lorens, Piotr Kudelski, Ewa Kuryłowicz


Politechnika Warszawska



The Light Sawyer

Project Description

The subject of the project is a tubular skylight that illuminates the interior with the help of reflecting planes. The reflected light gives the impression that it is tunnelling through the body of the building, which is why this entire system was called by me the light sawyer. The purpose of this system is to introduce light to the lowest levels. A single skylight has the form of a tube, half glass, half covered with a mirror coating. Mirror coatings are designed to reflect light and transfer it to the lower levels. The angle of the sun’s rays is the most favorable if it coincides with the angle of diagonal of the given rectangle. So if the proportion of the opening in the ceiling to the height of the storey equals A:A, the most favorable angle of the sun’s rays is 45 degrees, for the ratio A:2A this angle is 63 degrees, for the ratio A:4A - 76 degrees. If the light enters the skylight at this angle, it will be transported to the lowest floors without any losses. However, as we know, the angle of sun’s rays is constantly changing, as the Earth rotates and orbits the Sun. Therefore, to obtain the best lighting for the interior (especially on the lower floors), a movable, reflective panel on the roof should be used. This panel will change its rake angle along with the change of sunlight in order to "transport" the light as deep as possible into the building. The more the angle of light incidence decreases, the more the reflecting panel tilts. In addition, this panel will be rotatable to follow the sun path throughout the day and collect the sun’s rays in the most effective way. Based on the skylight design, the architectural design was created. The module of the building designed by me is distinguished from a regular building by the fact that in the place where traditionally there are windows, i.e. on the external wall, there are skylight tubes. Thanks to this procedure, infinite number of modules can be combined horizontally and vertically without fear that their interiors do not have access to sunlight. The modules were designed so that they were not dedicated to one specific function. I tried to achieve the universality of the plan through its flexibility. In this case, it means that the module can be freely divided into premises without any interference in its structure. This means that there may be four small, two medium or one large premises in a given module. The megastructure I designed is a new approach to architecture. Thanks to this shape, we give space under the building back to the city. The space under this structure is really valuable because it is not shaded but illuminated due to the system of skylights and consequently it can be used for other purposes.