Daylight in Buildings



Alina Markovska, Mariia Liashchenko


Tetiana Kashchenko


Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture




Project Description

Daylight is one of the most fundamental aspects of our existence. Moreover, life patterns of any living creature are connected with the daylight in one way or another. This connection can be defined as unconscious, which is associated with our physical rhythms, and cognitive - our usage of the daylight. Now this usage is understood as the providing the vital amount of light to people’s homes. But the concept is aimed to adjust this conventional approach for creating something beyond it. The essential of it lies in the notion of constant development. We want to make our lives not just normal, but ideal as much as possible. The starting point of the concept has come from our urban surroundings. For long period the main way of comfortable conditions creation in homes and on the streets in Ukraine had been greenery as a great solution for reducing the excessive summer light and improvement of space comfort criteria. Besides, it had had great connection with the Ukrainian culture full of admiration of nature. But the situation changed with the beginning of the large-scale housebuilding. A lot of identikit buildings appeared in the soviet period and the tendency remains the same now. Together with the lack of sufficient recreational development it gives extremely low comfort rates of the city space. We have used the method of creating mental maps of the main Kyiv bedroom districts. One of the main problems is the lack of sense of a place. These districts were separate villages with their own traditions, heritage and individuality. People participated in strong communities there and created great neighborhoods. In contrast, nowadays we have absolutely abandoned pitches and parkings which used to be active areas. There are monotonous housing with near-by broad roads and disorganized yards between buildings. People’s mental maps have accents on routine places such as shops or public transport stops. We think about our project as of a place to break the boring pattern of housing areas. We see the solution in reinventing the perception of light. There are two main stages of the project: creating new pure architectural typology and a recreational place as the exemplification of this experimental approach. The concept is about interaction between artificial architectural space and the natural daylight. There are two main elements about this interaction now: a window as a transparent element and a wall as an opaque one. But a great number of light effects can be explored with various combinations of translucent materials. It have been reflected in the typological forms used for designing an object which can satisfy human needs in comfortable space for relaxation and, at the same time, boost the esthetical and comfort conditions of the space around. It can be achieved by providing a place for neighborhood communication and public activities witch help to develop people’s relationships within borders of a district. We have designed one specific object to change the atmosphere in one residential unit in such Kyiv district to revitalize the communication between people, nature and the sense of a place. Daylight there is the powerful tool of uniting people from the same neighborhood. Only the translucency can provide the feelings of individuality and participation all in one. Everyone can find a desirable place because of the diversity of various visual effects in each implemented block. Even so, the contact with other visitors and the outer world won’t be lost because of the non-opaque nature of the object. The main idea is to create an inspirational place which can help people maintain mental health. Furthermore, it aims not only to give visitors the ideal place to reflect and activate positive emotions, but to improve well-being of the whole district. Firstly – as the place for activities, and secondly – as the light reflector which provides soft reflection in the evening to expand the duration of the solar day and create the atmosphere of the sunset and the sunrise where the actual light is hidden by buildings. Further, it increases the amount of artificial light at night to make the place safer. The aim of the new architectural typology – and the potential of developing – is in the implementation of every possible usage of daylight in everyday life to make it better. The whole range of typological forms to make daylight one of the matters of architectural space, in other words, to reinvent archetypes of our usual places. Our project is the result of designing an object using such a typology and principles of spatial design to create high-qualitative public space. Another aspect of the project is its omnitude and flexibility – the new typology can help develop the new understanding of daylight as a tool or high-performance incorporation with transparent, translucent and reflective materials not only for Kyiv, but for other similar areas.