Architecture Lighting Design

Nominations now open for The Daylight Award 2020

October 6, 2019

The Daylight Award for architecture 2020, a dual prize for research and architecture, is now open for nominations. The Daylight Award is an opportunity for the global community of architects and researchers to consider and nominate their colleagues who have expertise in advancing outstanding daylight research and the unique use of daylight in architecture.

Glasgow School of Art by Steven Holl Architects; photo by Iwan Baan

The award puts specific emphasis on the interrelation between theory and practice. In architecture, successful daylighting requires design considerations at all stages of the building design process – from site planning to the building envelope and interior design. Daylight research should play a crucial role in each stage of this process, guiding the architects and building professionals with the most recent studies and findings in the field. The Daylight Award wants to encourage research in all areas related to the effects of daylight on human health, well-being, and performance.

Naoshima Hall by Sambuichi Architects; photo by Shigeo Ogawa

The dual nature of the prize is intended to emphasise the correlation between daylight research and architecture. When theory and practice merge, both sides can learn from one another to create better living conditions. Nominations for the Daylight Award in Research could apply to researchers working in natural sciences, human sciences, or social sciences with a focus on daylight as a key element. The Daylight Award for architecture is accorded to a group or individual whose projects showcase unique use of daylight, with extra emphasis for architecture that considers daylight’s effects on the quality of human life and its value to society.

From left: Greg Ward and Hiroishi Sambuichi; photo by Alain Herzog

Since 1980, the Daylight Award has been awarded to a number of renowned designers from around the world, including Jørn Utzon, Henning Larsen, Peter Zumthor, Steven Holl, and many others. In 2018, the Architecture award was granted to Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi and the Research award went to Greg Ward, creator of the software simulation programme, Radiance.

The jury for 2020 includes Marilyne Andersen, Professor of Sustainable Construction Technologies and Dean of the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL), Switzerland, laureate of The Daylight Award in 2016; Anne Lacaton, Principal of Lacaton & Vassal Architectes, Paris, France, laureate of The Daylight Award in 2011 and winner of the EU Mies Award in 2019; Juhani Pallasmaa, Finnish architect, writer, and teacher; Aki Kawasaki, Associate Professor of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Ophthalmic Hospital Jules Gonin, Lausanne, Switzerland; Koen Steemers, Professor of Sustainable Design, Cambridge University, UK; and James Carpenter, Founder of James Carpenter Design Associates in New York, US, laureate of The Daylight Award in 2010.

The Daylight Award was founded by the philanthropic foundations Villum Fonden, Velux Fonden and Velux Stiftung, with the goal of honoring and supporting daylight research and daylight in architecture. The Daylight Award is given every other year as two individual prizes, each of €100,000.

Nominations for The Daylight Award 2020 close on November 1 2019. The jury will meet early 2020 for deliberation, and the laureates will be announced on the UN/UNESCO “International Day of Light,” the 16th of May 2020.

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