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27/09 2011

Natural light is an important element in architecture. Luceonline in Spain.

Natural light is an important architectural element. Luceonline in Spain.
From the architecture of Santiago Calatrava to the natural light of Alhambra, Luceonline has gone exploring the Spain, through the observation of the architectures of the famous architect, discovering their lighting and the use of light in Alhambra.
In Valencia, we feel welcome thanks to the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, an architectural complex composed of three different thematic areas: art, science and nature. It stands on the old bed of the Turia River, which was diverted to avoid the continual floods, the river bed is now the green lung of Valencia, turned into a city park.

It is an example of organic architecture, it was designed by Calatrava, it can be defined as a futuristic structure that, however, is able to stress the tradition of the Mediterranean sea and the light through a game of colours with blue and white, large pools of water, sky and concrete.
This kind of integration is evident inside the Hemisfèric, an architectural structure, whose shape is that of a giant human eye. The top of the structure is virtually completed in the eye of the visitor, thanks to the reflection in the pond. The transparent cover gives the possibility to observe the sky and catch the sunlight.

The trip continues to Seville, where we admire the Alamillo Bridge, the particular shape of each element and every detail has been designed as pieces of a large sculpture. The integration of light is one of the major elements of the Calatrava architecture, for this reason the artificial light appears in the early stages of the design. The architect introduced on his bridge a continuous low-level lighting in order to avoid vertical elements that could interfere with the pylon inclination.
We reached Granada, attracted by Alhambra, an Andalusian palaca whose name means The Red, probably because of the light red color of the walls, a real walled city where it is very interesting the architectural use of light.

In the red city light is a real architectural element, able to create games of lights and shadows. In the courtyard, looking toward the north, it is possible to perceive different shades of light, more intense in the courtyard, a light that slowly degrades under the arches of the arcade that filter the strong sunlight. The sunlight that penetrates the Sala de la Barca and finishes in the darkness of the Salón de Embajadores.
The lighting harmonizes the different architectural units of the building, moreover, the light acts in a different manner during every season of the year, so the colours and the decorations of the building change each season.
Another feature is represented by the bioclimatic aspects of the structure. This has been designed in order to avoid the unpleasant effects of the temperature changes, from illuminated areas to those in the shade, through a study of north-south orientation.

It is also very interesting the psychological use of light in some rooms, such as the Salón de Embajadores. The light in this room has a clear psychological and symbolic component:
once in the hall there was the political and religious leader, who probably needed to appear enigmatic and mysterious, so the atmosphere was enveloped in a dim light, consequently the human figure was revealed without details, making his image divine.

The Sultan was in the middle of the room and the light entered behind him so that his figure was seen backlight.

There are also many interesting light games on the dome of the Palacio de Comares, that has a pyramidal shape that allows the refraction of light in the dome itself. The materials of the decorations are metals and precious stones, so the light is projected onto the surfaces and angles, creating contrasts of planes and textures. The dome appears as suspended, light, with structures with movement and dynamism.
See you again on the next light trips with Luceonline.



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