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  • Writer's picturemaxvasher

Siting & Lighting

Juxtaposing these two images of the Northeast elevation of Arlecchino (Harlequin House) is a great opportunity to discuss conscientious architectural siting on the land and lighting cycles that occur throughout a day and across seasons.

Architecture must always respect the land where it exists and this is especially true when building in remote locations with nature as the dominant surrounding feature. Choosing a geometric scheme for the overall design is paramount to designing architecture that is mutually complimentary to structure and land. This is especially evident when the structure is observed either lit from within or lit from without. At twilight a faint and welcoming glow should emanate from within when viewing the the building in the landscape. It should appear as not only a welcoming place of respite but a welcome site on the land. Daylighting, lighting from without, alternatively presents exciting dynamics of light and shadow that occur within the structure. In the case of the daylight image seen here the light is shown at early morning in the summer. The large overhangs generally protect the interior from glare and unwanted heat throughout most of the day. However, in the early part of the day for just a short time before the sun is too harsh, there's an exciting play of light and shadow seen through the windows of the living room on the large adjacent concrete wall. The overall orientation of various architectural elements at Arlecchino are choreographed so that this summer morning light show is displayed on a large expanse of wall in the living room where it can be enjoyed. Like a slow motion movie, the pattern of light and shadow evolves in shape and orientation as it courses across the surface and then finally disappears as the show ends and the overhangs take over to protect the interior for the length of most of the day.

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