Japanese architect and American researcher receive The Daylight Award

16 May 2018

16 May 2018 on The UNESCO International Day of Light, the poetic Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi and pioneering American researcher Greg Ward are announced as laureates of The Daylight Award 2018.

Sambuichi and Ward follow the footsteps of earlier recipients, such as Jørn Utzon, SANAA, Peter Zumthor, Lacaton & Vassal, Marilyne Andersen and Steven Holl. In addition to the honour, the laureates each receive €100.000 for their groundbreaking work and dedication to daylight.

'The Daylight Award' focuses on the interaction between architecture and research. The three philanthropic foundations VILLUM FONDEN, VELUX FONDEN and VELUX STIFTUNG, which were established by Villum Kann Rasmussen, present the award.

Since 1980, The Daylight Award has recognized prominent practitioners in the fields of daylight in architecture and daylight research for the benefit of human health, well-being and the environment.

The 2018 laureates, Sambuichi and Ward, both brilliantly illustrate the versatility of working with daylight. However, as different as they may seem, they both share a deep commitment to daylight. Inspired by nature, Sambuichi integrates geophysical characteristics of the site; earth, wind, air, water, and sun in his architecture. Computer scientist Ward creates and captures a physically accurate representation of the luminous environment and of the human response to intensity, colour, contrast, glare and views in his computer software.

Sambuchi´s buildings serve as a continuous inspiration to the architectural discourse with its extraordinary simplicity and allowing daylight to always be present in its variable life - and the breadth of Ward’s work has transformed the field of daylight modelling and has empowered thousands of engineers and architects to work with daylight in their projects. As such, contemplation meets computation and architecture powered by the forces of nature meets powerful software.

Hiroshi Sambuichi: architecture powered by nature 

Photo: Takehiro Gito

Hiroshi Sambuichi is a master at balancing the relationship between nature and architecture.

”To me, architecture is ideal when you look at its form and the moving materials around the site, such as when the wind, water and the sun become visible. A close examination of changing wind directions and intensities in daylight influences the site and enables me to understand what kind of architecture is really needed on each location,” says Hiroshi Sambuichi.

Greg Ward: creator of revolutionary software

Greg Ward is the creator of the revolutionary software simulation programme, Radiance, which has enabled three decades of researchers to imagine the possibilities of daylight.

“My emphasis has always been on working, practical systems, as opposed to purely academic pursuits,” says Ward.

Radiance is widely applied in architecture, product design, horticulture, motion picture, health effects and medical research. It has also been utilized in unique situations such as assisting astronauts in training to work under the harsh lighting conditions in space. 

Celebration of the laureates in Lausanne, Switzerland

The Daylight Award was founded by VILLUM FONDEN, VELUX FONDEN and VELUX STIFTUNG. The laureates were celebrated on 27 September, 2018 at a special ceremony at the Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne, Switzerland. The ceremony brought together international architects, scientists and business people to celebrate the laureates' outstanding contributions to daylight in architecture and daylight research.

The Daylight Award 2018

Read more about the two recipients, watch photos and movies from their work, and become wiser at The Daylight Award and former recipients of the award.