If architecture creates and recreates experiences of time, space and objects, then to highlight our visceral experience with light means rethinking how we inhabit everything from public spaces to Earth.
Designed to illuminate this endlessly changing and powerful relationship, Dubai’s award-winning architecture practice unveiled its Dubai Design Week installation ‘Circadian Light Synthesis’, located at the key pedestrian entrance to the Dubai Design District (d3) between Buildings 4 and 6.
The installation was designed to highlight the different positions, colour temperatures and intensity of sunlight that dictate our human circadian rhythm and natural body-clock, including our relationship with the moon. Based in Dubai and London, ANARCHITECT, founded by Jonathan Ashmore, has developed the installation together with Delta Light, Matteo Brioni, Abanos and Prime Metal Industries (PMI).
‘The relationship between body and light conditions is important for human well-being and a key aspect of design and architecture’, says Ashmore. ‘Circadian Light Synthesis will harness the intense sunlight as well as moonlight conditions at its location, while providing a recognizable welcoming, recharging, exploratory and contemplative area for the Dubai Design Week visitors’.
The installation is parted into two interconnected elements. The southern ‘Exposed’ Pavilion remains open-sided and houses a seated area for visitors, which doubles up as a shading structure. Its wall and roof apertures are specifically oriented in line with sun path which will harness its intense light particularly at midday (12 pm), afternoon (3 pm) and sunset (6 pm) to cast specific shadows. The northern ‘Enclosed’ Pavilion is predominantly closed and lit with Deltalight’s ‘artificial sun’.
In the daytime, the rotating light fixture will cast the artificial sunlight in the Enclosed pavilion in accordance with the natural circadian rhythm aligned with human wellbeing. At night, the light fixture will rotate to project the moonlight into the Enclosed pavilion from the rear of the same light source. The other side of the rotating light fixture will project the light onto the Exposed pavilion during the night, providing it with the light source and creating the shadows and light play after the sunset.
Upon their arrival, visitors will be able to photograph the uniquely framed Burj Khalifa view between the two pavilions. This photogenic installation also provides a different opportunity for capturing light play created by shadows cast during both day and night.
The structures of the installation are clad in clay – specifically Matteo Brioni’s TerraPlus Cammeo – a mixture of raw earth, mineral binders and resinous polymers, which allow to obtain greater resistance to abrasion and water without losing its permeability. This non-fading material allows for the sun to beautifully highlight its unique natural texture.
Circadian Light Synthesis will be open to the public throughout the Dubai Design Week, 12-17 November 2018.