Sunshine & Rainbow Everywhere – How to Get The Most Of Sunshine

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows
Everything that’s wonderful is what I feel when we’re together

If that classic song by Lesley Gore doesn’t give you a spring to your step then it’s time to learn how to get the most out of sunshine to brighten your day! Luckily, as makers of space, AKA architects, and designers, we strive to take advantage of good daylighting.

Ironically, Toronto is experiencing its monster spring/winter storm today but that’s not going to stop us from wishing for warm rays of happiness! You got to stay hopeful as hardened cold Canadians, let’s not get the winter blues.

Perhaps the most obvious way to get Spring indoors, is from our windows and doors. Naturally, we as inhabitants do well in brilliantly lit environments, more so when it’s a natural light. There are many instances where architecture is able to play with how light streams into space but increasingly more important is that they are responsive so they don’t allow too much light. Especially in office conditions where refractions and backlit screens are not ideal. Enter responsive design! Facades that can automatically sensor exactly how

Especially in office conditions where refractions and backlit screens are not ideal. Enter responsive design! Facades that can automatically sensor exactly how much light an indoor space needs or is wanted. Below is a sketch of the mechanics of the featured image’s dynamic facade, basically imagined to open and close which subsequently would affect the shadows cast to be much more interesting!


Responsive Design… Monkey see, Monkey do



A dynamic facade that opens like an origami square with each triangular portion.

But sometimes, as we all know, costs and logistics can be complicated. Which is why a more practical reiteration of traditional box windows can offer more fun by being achievable. This sketch model deceivingly appears higher than it actually is- with two rows of punches openings per floor which casts an abundance of light into these ‘apartments’.


The Grand Illusion… A modern twist on traditional openings


Sketch model of a mixed used high rise built form that plays with the levels of height through doubling openings on each level.


Alternatively, if facing the correct orientation, it could offer just the right amount of light into a potential flex office space. However, considering sustainability, how would this space be affected by heat gain with this much opening? Not too mention, with so many windows, what would the structural loads be like? Perhaps not very logistical after all..


interior office


A Magical Place where the sun never sets? Stained glass and all its effects…


After looking at some imaginary scenarios of how light can affect space, it’s important to go back and consider what already exists! One of my favourites is the space in La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. This perfectly captures its sunsetting atmosphere- a whimsical, romantic and serene flood of colour transfused bliss.


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La Sagrada Familia


While mostly, as architects and designers, we look to use light as a practical means, it can also be used as features for indoor spaces. Not exactly like the installation from last year’s Venice Biennale, as it wouldn’t be plausible in a living space, but it’s certainly eye-catching!




With the time change (1 hour lost!) this weekend in Ontario, looking at images of rays of light certainly brightened my day until Spring comes, and I hope soon!