Daylight Driven Design
Office building project 1300 sq.m
Status: preliminary project, research
Client: confidential
St. Petersburg 2020

People tend to spend most of their time at workplaces, where daylight improves productivity, psychological well-being, and building energy efficiency. The global warming problem and sustainability agenda have only increased the importance of maximizing daylight use. Daylight is free and more natural for humans; therefore, its use is much more rational in comparison to artificial lighting, which is preferable in today's working space. The amount of natural light available to any given structure depends on the location, specifically on the latitude of the building site. One of the most challenging situations is found at high latitudes where the largest city is St. Petersburg. Unfortunately, the local common office design practice strives to adopt the idea of fully glazed office buildings, which is not an answer to the problem.

The integrated visual comfort design in the architectural concept of office buildings at high latitudes was explored, which questioned the widely adopted "glass box" approach. Specific daylight driven design principles were derived from a theoretical framework, climate analysis, urban context, and parametric research. The viability of design principles was demonstrated in the design project in St. Petersburg in urban, building, details, and layout scales. The evidence-based design in building form and fenestration helped find reasonable trade-offs between low glare environment, daylighting, views, efficient window-to-wall ratio, and aesthetic aspects.