Natural Lighting

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LIGHT AND ARCHITECTURE
CÉSAR PORTELA
Architect

There is no need to define what natural light is, but we do need to remember that this light allows us to define what is around us, by day and night: the changing perception of the things or the bodies on which it impacts, and the space that contains them. Light, or absence of light, can also transform this space in each season, each day of the year, each hour of the day, each moment. With regard to Architecture, What is Architecture? Lao-Tse said that “architecture is not four walls and a roof; it is also, and above all, the air that remains within, the space that these enclose”. That is why architecture and light, or light and architecture are concepts that were interdependent throughout history, to the point that one of Bruno Zevi’s most important essays is called: “light as an architectural form”. Le Corbousier went as far as saying that “architecture is the wise, correct and magnificent play of volumes collected together under the light”. This relationship between light and architecture occurs inevitably; sometimes consciously, other times unconsciously, and it does not matter whether we are talking about educated or popular architecture. That is why it is almost impossible to imagine the works of the grand maestros without establishing a masterly relationship with light. An example of all these, as a synthesis, is the Pantheon in Rome. Etianne-Louis Boullé claims that “the art of touching with the effects of light belongs to architecture”, and he is right, because, depending on how it is used, it can transform the spatial context, creating agreeable or disagreeable, sublime or mysterious sensations, the sensations of enlarging a space or making it smaller, or simply highlighting aspects of the space that interest us. And above all, it makes the space more agreeable, more comfortable, more habitable, more visible. Painting too can move us with the play of light, as David Madacsi made clear in his...
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