Takes on Architecture, part II: The Inflow of Daylight


C.F. Møller architects designed the new Technical Faculty in Odensen, Funen.


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The Technical Faculty in Odense, Denmark, designed by C.F. Møller.


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Photo by Anders Sune Berg

Kannikegården in Ribe, Denmark, designed by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects.


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Photo by Anders Sune Berg

Kannikegården in Ribe, Denmark, designed by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects.



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Photo by Mikkel Frost

The Grundfos halls of residence designed by CEBRA.


In a series of articles, DANISH™ asks a group of experts to elaborate on different architectural parameters. In this second article, experts from CEBRA, ADEPT and C.F. Møller dwell on the concept of the good inflow of daylight.


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Julian Weyer
Partner, C.F. Møller

‘The Technical Faculty at the University of Southern Denmark is a good example of a sustainable and innovative science building. We designed it to be a world-class learning environment that lives up to the highest academic standards with a strong focus on daylight as one of the important parameters.

‘The centrepiece of the complex, a copper-clad “piece of furniture”, invites you up the central stairs under generous circular skylights. The inner divides are highly transparent, with daylight everywhere. Running the length of the building, two day-lit “canyons” inside and between the labs create a feeling that is both intimate and spacious. The light here is ever changing, as you can see, during the day – thanks to the large skylights.’


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Photo by Anders Sune Berg

Anders Lonka
Partner, ADEPT

‘Kannikegården in Ribe, Denmark, is a new structure for Ribe Parish’s parochial church council, built on the square just across the nationally renowned cathedral. The building, which was designed by Danish Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects, houses facilities for the parochial church council and the staff at the church.

‘At the same time, it has to function as a hospitable setting for public events for the town’s citizens, such as talks, concerts and film screenings. The project faced a special challenge: ancient monuments, telling us about Danish history over the past thousand years, were found on the building site.

‘The wing of the building is located along the square with its scale and roof pitch following the neighbouring buildings on the square. The archetypical shape of the wing is given a sculptural crookedness towards the south, to bring more light and air towards the neighbouring buildings in the courtyard area.

‘An intimate atrium was constructed towards the south, demarcated by a wall framing the street areas along with Sønderportsgade and Rykind. The upper part of the building is covered with specially developed façade tiles in shades of reddish brown, like those of the city’s and the region’s characteristic brick houses – but as a more contemporary interpretation due to the larger size of the tiles.

‘The bottom section has glass facades, which both protect the ruins and expose the unique findings. Here, the inflow of light is in a strong and very beautiful contrast to the rest of the building’s sculptural and material weight, and gives the structure both elegance and lightness.’


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Photo by Mikkel Frost

Mikkel Frost
Founding Partner, CEBRA

‘You could write a whole dissertation on the inflow of light, but I’ll try to sum it up. When we work with the inflow of light, we focus on the basic aspects of lighting. Where does the light come from? Do we have enough natural light? What parts of the world provide what types of light?

‘But when I think about our projects and the focus on utilising light artistically, then I feel we concentrate more on where the light is reflected. At the Grundfos halls of residence in Aarhus, we made a 12-floor-high mirror atrium to draw the light in, which is an installation in itself (watch the video of the mirror atrium above, ed.).

‘The bouncing of light from certain materials is the magic about light, if you ask me. You can colour light with different surfaces and to us, light is more about reflections, the tactile feeling and the surfaces than the actual inflow of light. Anyhow, window openings are more or less defined by human proportions.’

In this series:

Takes on Architecture, part I: Proportions
Takes on Architecture, part II: The Inflow of Daylight
Takes on Architecture, part III: Sustainability
Takes on Architecture, part IV: Minimalism

Companies mentioned in this article

The goal of DANISH™ is to promote Danish architecture and design in a broad perspective, and demonstrate all the potentials in these fields.

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