Architecture of the Night
When the night falls, the world around us changes – unless illuminated, it disappears into blackness. Overcoming this primeval, threatening darkness gave rise to rituals of sacred fire and ceremonial light that continue to play a symbolic role to this day. Yet, since the advent of electricity, in the late 19th century, an ever more luminous night has transformed our surroundings to the point where we have started to seek designs that modulate darkness in subtler ways.
This illustrated talk will start with a look at nocturnal Basel and the way in which night illumination can let us discover spaces not noticed during the day, or better understand a building structure once it comes to the fore in artificial light. We will also look at the city’s lighting concept, and will follow up with cases of exemplary night time architecture in other towns in Switzerland and elsewhere. We will discuss how three different approaches to illumination – focal glow, ambient luminescence, and the play of brilliants – are used in architecture and public art. The talk will end with a look at some innovative developments in the field of lighting.
Dina Bonefacic-Mihaljek, M.Arch.
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