the importance of light

Valencia is known for being a sunny, mildly warm city, and this is one of the reasons I came here to study.

In Logroño, where I come from, days are usually much darker, cloudy days are pretty common there. Even though Valencia has much more natural light, I do prefer the light in my logroño’s house than the one here.

Here, I live in a student residence, my room is oriented towards the west, but the sports pavillion is just in front, added to the fact that my room is in the first floor; I guess you can imagine I don’t get natural light at all.

This is different in my hometown. My house’s main facade is oriented towards the south, I don’t have any building in front of me and I live in the fourth floor. This allows us to havenatural light all day long, being more energetically efficient and better for our wellbeing. The light that gets through my living room at 5 pm during winter is etched deeply into my brain. A warm golden light that makes anything feel better, I feel like in a dream when I read in my couch next to the windows, getting hit by this ethereal light.

This ausence of sunlight in my room makes it harder for me to start being productive, I constanly find myself procastinantig, only wanting to lay in bed and do nothing. This has a biological explanation. Our bodies time themselves according to sunlight, we naturally wake up thanks to hormones our body creates when it detects light. The absence of light makes me feel sleepy all day long.

I think light should be one of the main factors to take into account when designing architecture. To me, architecture is a discipline ment to enhance human lives, make habitable buildings so that our experience is better. Light is one of the factors that determine our happiness and wellbeing. We are incredibely lucky to live in Spain, a country that gets 2600 hours of sun a year, but is is a pity to live in a building that keeps its inhabitants away from their benefits.

This is a proposal for ourselves, future architects, and the current ones, to try to be mindful when designing. Overgrowth in cities is making natural lighting a luxury as higher and higher buildings are made, very close to each other, preventing natural light to come in everybody’s homes. Sunlight is not a luxury, it is a need.