"Light creates ambiance, light makes the feel of a space, and light is also the expression of
structure." Well, that was not by me. That was, of course, by Le Corbusier, the famous architect.
And you can see what he meant in one of his beautiful buildings --the chapel Notre Dame Du
Haut De Ronchamp -- where he creates this light that he could only make because there's also
dark. And I think that is the quintessence of this all , that there is no good lighting that is healthy
and for our well-being without proper darkness.
So this is how we normally would light our offices. We have codes and standards that tell us that
the lights should be so much Lux and of great uniformity. This is how we create uniform lighting
from one wall to the other in a regular grid of lamps. And that is quite different from what I just
showed you from Le Corbusier. If we would apply these codes and standards to the Pantheon in
Rome, it would never have looked like this, because this beautiful light feature that goes around
there all by itself can only appear because there is also darkness in that same building. And the
same is more or less what Santiago Calatrava said when he said, "Light: I make it in my
buildings for comfort." And he didn't mean the comfort of a five-course dinner as opposed to a
one-course meal, but he really meant the comfort of the quality of the building for the people. He
meant that you can see the sky and that you can experience the sun. And he created these
gorgeous buildings where you can see the sky, and where you can experience the sun, that
give us a better life in the built environment, just because of the relevance of light in its
brightness and also in its shadows.
And what it all boils down to is, of course, the sun. And this image of the Sun may suggest that
the Sun is something evil and aggressive, but we should not forget that all energy on this planet
actually comes from the Sun, and light is only a manifestation of that energy.
The sun is for dynamics, for color changes. The sun is for beauty in our environment, like in the
High Museum in Atlanta, which has been created by Renzo Piano from Italy, together with Arup
Lighting, a brilliant team of lighting designers, who created a very subtle modulation of light
across the space, responding to what the sun does outside, just because of all these beautiful
openings in the roof. So in an indirect way, you can see the sun. And what they did is they
created an integral building element to improve the quality of the space that surrounds the
visitors of the museum. They created this shade that you can see here, which actually covers
the sun, but opens up to the good light from the sky. And here you can see how they really
crafted a beautiful design process with physical models, with quantitative as well as qualitative
methods, to come to a final solution that is truly integrated and completely holistic with the
architecture. They allowed themselves a few mistakes along the way. As you ...