Illuminating: Natural Light in Residential Architecture by Michelle Corrodi, Klaus Spechtenhauser

By Michelle Corrodi, Klaus Spechtenhauser

Identical to open operating and residing areas flooded with gentle has, greater than the other, turn into fastened in our minds as an emblem of modernity and the spirit of the days. whereas the place of work has continuously been the focal point of ergonomic experiences and optimization with recognize to a great provision of sunlight, huge glass surfaces have now turn into the order of the day for residing areas besides. yet does this immediately make for higher illumination? Taking this question as its start line, the booklet Illuminating thematizes principal elements of sunshine making plans, together with the relationship among the supply of sunlight and architectural layout, construction orientation, the character of the facade, the floor plan, convenience, and the proportions and surroundings of rooms. within the approach, normal features and primary ideas in addition to refined aspects of an clever therapy of sunlight are mentioned and seriously tested inside of an multiplied structure- and culture-historical context.

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With that, the continual opening up of the facade, which had only been made technically possible by modern skeleton-frame construction, took its course. 4 meters, such as those in the Werkbund housing development Neubühl in Zurich-Wollishofen, were no ­longer the exception. 3 meters high. That contrast with the amount of total window area, which at an average of 38% of the floor area far exceeded the current legally defined guideline of 10%. ”4 The author’s exclamation point suggests the reduced ceiling height was still a small sensation at the time.

It is not just a selective writing of architectural history that has fundamentally influenced our present image of modern housing. The idea of a light-flooded home was indeed an essential item on the program of the proponents of the Modern Movement on their path to a comprehensive reform of housing. After the First World War, contemporary housing defined by the slogan “light, air, sun” was supposed to pertain to buildings not just for the social elite but for the broad masses. In particular, the significance attributed to natural light as healthy became a progressive factor in designing floor plans, building volumes, and layouts of developments.

The position of wall openings was now decided more from functional perspectives for the inhabitants, to achieve a supposedly optimal brightness. In reality, however, the lighting ideal of modernism led to the maxim the brighter, the better. Transformation of the proportions of the room and the window surfaces, 1800 ­versus 1933: Ceiling heights lower, new window forms, increased percentage of window surfaces. 56 N Heating Laundry Front yard Housek. Entrance (Circulation Zone) Garage Closet, WC Entrance Kitchen Garden tools W Pantry Working Kitchen garden Maid’s r.

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