How can traditional architectural elements be used to solve issues of daylighting in dense urban settlements?

IVAVELUX award competition.

The sites where this technology can be applied are more of a dense urban settlements or office buildings where the amount of sunlight reaching the core is not sufficient. The design aims to let in sunlight through the use of traditional common space: Courtyard.

The trick here is the arrangement of courtyards in the grid matrix of the buildings structural framework. Therefore these courts do not disturb the existing structural members of the building; and can be adopted even in the existing buildings of commercial, office or residential typology. However the idea is not limited only to daylighting. In Addition to daylighting, We can influence and create Density : Photosynthesis : Psychi.

The first aspect of the design: The Light :

The Light flowing into the courtyards, penetrates deep into the core of the building and light up the interiors, hence the users can experience the joy of pure sunlight.

The second aspect of the design: The Density :

This technology enables us to intensify the density in our designs. We can now afford to create denser grid matrixes of space in the high rise designs. In the case of an existing building of a residential character (which is often a sensitive issue considering the scarcity of space present in the dense high rise scenario), when we create a void, we may lose space equivalent to one house; but at the same time we can enrichen the lives of users living in 5 homes/offices in the first level of voids, 7 homes/offices in the second level of voids; and 10 homes/offices in the third level of voids.

This ratio of 1 void : 5 benefitting blocks does not seems to affect building which are 8 to 10 storeys high. but when incorporated in skyscrapers, the whole dimension of the space density changes to about 1 void : 10 benefitting blocks.

The third aspect of design: The Photosynthesis :

Rainwater can be harvested in these buildings because of the tropical nature of the cities where these sites are located. The rainwater can be used to grow plants in the courtyards creating a kind of green space inside the matrix.

These plants make use of sunlight, water and air in the process of photosynthesis and produce oxygen. Hence the level of oxygen in the air is increased hence making it cleaner. This contributes towards maintaining the health of the users.

The fourth aspect of design: The Psychi :

The basic courtyard functions as a semiprivate space to which more private living spaces can open up, hence merging two spaces and giving a sense of spaciousness as a whole. This gives a open feeling to the living spaces and also increases the connections between the living spaces and the courtyards. Adapting spillover functions close to the courtyards increases the human interaction levels between the homes or office blocks.

Hence these spaces affect the gloomy psychology and non-existing sense of neighbourhood in the apartments or office buildings and creates a more cheerful environment and a happier lot of experiences for the people inside. These courtyard spaces together throw joy into the lives of the people experiencing them.