Lightscapes worked with diffusion, filtration and colour to bring life to materials and improve visual comfort in a major renovation of auditoria building 116 at DTU, the Technical University of Denmark. A project aimed at creating the best framework for learning with equal focus on formal and informal learning environments.
Designed by Eva and Nils Koppel in 1974, building 116 is considered to be DTU's most beautiful auditorium building. It features a distinctive inner core of brick, encircled by high windows in a horizontal band, that provide distinctive daylight ingress. An essential part of the renovation has been to transform the many unused square meters of foyer and common areas around the core into inspiring, informal study environments.
The consolidation of this new requirement, with the conservation of the original characteristics, presented issues related to balancing the contrast conditions of the daylight in order to create visual comfort. Lightscapes' solution, a system of hanging textile screens, that ensure sunlight diffusion, became one of the primary features of the renovation. A collaboration with the artist, Malene Bach, established a colour scheme for the fabric that varies according to the viewing angle, daylight ingress or position of the artificial light source. The screens bring colour, materiality and variation to the promenade around the core so that you move in and out of different ‘light-spaces’.
The daylight quality is not a stress factor for either the body or the thought process, on the contrary, it is life-giving. The artificial light adapts and collaborates with the daylight throughout the passage of the day and the year to supports this important function.
Early daylight studies revealed the need for skylights in the foyer to improve the contrast conditions for people moving through the space or using it for study. Lightscapes designed ceilings that were lit to improve contrast and skylights with custom glass diffusers that eliminate glare.