Lighting is an integral part of any architectural project. From the dawn of time and through the ages, architects have created designs that boast an inextricable bond with natural light, letting it permeate the interior and wash over the decor to bring a vibrant, healthy, and inspiring setting to life. In more recent times, architectural solutions aim to combine the benefits of whole-day natural lighting with the functionality and aesthetic appeal of artificial sources of light.
Words: Cooper Klein
What this creates is a positive living environment tailored for the healthy 21st-century family. After all, natural light is not for the outdoor landscape to enjoy all on its own, but rather a key element of every home’s interior as well. With that in mind, here are the reasons why light is so important in home architecture and design.
Creating a productive environment
Efficiency and productivity are the hallmarks of a thriving family home, as everything needs to run like a well-oiled machine in order to maintain peace and happiness within the ranks. Scientific research has proven time and time again that natural light can have a positive effect on human beings in a myriad of ways, of which increased productivity and day-long zeal are its foremost benefits.
This is where delicate architectural solutions come into play, as it’s not just about creating grand window schemes – it’s also about combating the possible negative effects of sunlight and preserving a healthy living environment. For instance, too much sunlight might expose the occupants to excessive glare and thermal stress, creating a counter-effect in productivity and their emotional state. However, if these solutions are combined with accessories such as blinds, curtains, and double-glazed windows, there can be harmony between the two extremes.
Building a place of intimacy
Intimacy in interior design is often thought of as the product of light’s absence, but in reality, natural light plays a vital role in setting the desired mood and influencing the occupant’s state of mind. The human eye appreciates balance, symmetry, and careful accentuation on a subliminal plane, and even if you don’t realize it, that bay window in the living room serves a much greater purpose than mere aesthetics.
By carefully designing the interior, positioning the windows according to the movements of the Sun, and choosing unique shapes for the window frames, we can make the light beams act a certain way, and bather the room with sunlight so that it emanates the right feeling of intimacy and privacy. Speaking of, these solutions work in unison to support a healthy circadian rhythm and create an oasis of health in the household.
Supporting circadian health
It should come as no surprise that the modern human being has somewhat become an alien on their own planet. With the industrial boom starting as early as the second half of the 18th century, humans have said their farewell to the thousands of years of life under the stars, and the circadian rhythm that once was.
Nowadays, though, architecture and design aim to bring back the healthy habits of pre-industrialization by creating luminous homes and bring balance back into our natural sleeping patterns. Take the most sunlit regions of the world as an example. In Australia, modern architectural solutions are widely complemented by quality blinds in Melbourne and every other coastal city in the country that enjoys many days of pure sunlight over the course of a year.
This trend indicates that balancing decor with sun-friendly architecture is imperative if we are to bring a healthy circadian rhythm back into our lives. Letting natural light permeate the household and determine your sleeping and waking patterns is essential, but only if you balance its strength and opulence with shades that will help you create a healthy interior in your home.
Accentuating the key elements in the room
Moving away from its inherent health benefits, sunlight is used in architecture to accentuate certain architectural features, emphasize decor elements throughout the room, and bring a vibrant space to life. Sometimes, when you’re working with the most skillful of architects, the design will even take the Sun’s movement pattern into account and accentuate certain decor elements sooner than others.
It’s a delicate game that requires plenty of planning, strategizing and meticulous execution, but the results can have a staggering effect. Improving the aesthetic appeal of a room with natural light is an achievement every 21st-century architect strives for, and if done properly, it can completely transform the look of the interior.
Improving energy efficiency in a household
Last but not least, every homeowner should think about long-term energy efficiency. Rather than it being a question of eco-friendly appliances or turning the light off when you’re not in a room, it should rather be a question of design. Sustainable architecture has become the norm in the modern residential and commercial environments, which is exactly why it should play a vital role in helping your household conserve energy passively throughout the year.
In the world of architecture, light truly does matter. Without natural light to bathe every room in your home in bright, golden hues during the day, your emotional, psychological, and physical well-being wouldn’t be the same. With that in mind, be sure to let modern architectural solutions bring the health benefits of sunlight into your home.