Scope:

Daylight in architecture is an ever-relevant topic. Daylight has been used for centuries as the primary source of light for the interior and architects have always been interested in and fascinated by daylight; yet day lighting can be a difficult discipline to approach, understand and master. Day lighting describes the controlled use of natural light in and around buildings. It is the practice of placing windows, or other transparent media and reflective surfaces, so that natural light provides effective internal illumination during the day. Successful day lighting requires design considerations at all stages of the building design process, from site planning to architectural, interior and lighting design.Today buildings are major energy consumers; strategies for reducing energy use and carbon emissions are therefore called for, such as using sunlight as a source of energy and light. Much focus on sustainable buildings has been on energy aspects. However, health is the most precious resource we have, and energy is only one aspect of sustainability. A primary goal for sustainability should be to sustain human life on Earth.A good indoor climate, with generous daylight levels and provision of fresh air from outside, is the key to making homes, offices, kindergartens and schools healthy places to live and work in. We spend an excessive amount of time inside buildings – and the air that we breathe and the amount of daylight we are exposed to have a great impact on our health and well-being and thereby the quality of our lives. Therefore, we need to consider the right day lighting strategies and solutions for our buildings.

The award

The WAC Award 2020 for Students of Architecture wants to encourage and challenge students of architecture to explore the theme of daylight – and to create a deeper understanding of this specific and ever-relevant source of energy, light and life.The award celebrates and promotes excellence in completed study works. These works can be made as works complying with the prize scope of rethinking the values of conscious day lighting design with focus on people’s health in living and working environments.The award encourages projects that celebrate the privilege of being a student; with curiosity and with the willingness to think “out of the box” – as well as consider the social, sociological and environmental dimension of light.The award wants to acknowledge not only the students but their teachers as well. Therefore, teachers of the projects are also awarded.

Theme

“Light of Tomorrow” is the overall theme of the WAC The award seeks to challenge the future of daylight in the built environment with an open-minded and experimental approach. Therefore, the award seeks to widen the boundaries of daylight in architecture, including aesthetics, functionality, sustainability, and the interaction between buildings and environment.

1. Daylight in buildings

Projects that demonstrate applicable principles for providing daylight and sunlight into buildings – including the effects of building construction and context of the site, shape and dimensions, window openings, screens, shadings, interior divisions, materials and external conditions.Specific focus on architecture for health and well-being and projects that address challenges faced by cities, communities and modern societies, and where daylight and architecture can help create change through better and healthier living environments.

2. Daylight investigations

Projects that look at the physical properties of light, basics of optics and materials, as well as technological developments, new materials, storage or transportation of daylight.The use of daylight in public space for functional, recreational, cultural or spiritual use and the effect of daylight on state of mind, health and well-being as well as the dynamics and temporal quality of daylight and its effects on behaviour and spaces over time and seasons.

Type of award and categories

The award is an open ideas competition and it is organised globally in two phases: in the first phase, regional prizes will be awarded to projects from the UIA member regions 1) Western Europe, 2) Eastern Europe and the Middle East, 3) the Americas, 4) Asia+ Oceania and 5) Africa. In the second phase, prizes will be awarded to overall winners.The award is not restricted to the use of WAC products. Innovative thinking and use of specific WAC components as daylight providers will however be within the scope of the award and the jury will be allowed to give special prizes to the best projects.

Criteria

The jury will evaluate the projects in accordance with the following criteria:

  • The work with day lighting as a premise for architecture
  • How the project is researched and documented
  • How the project addresses contemporary and future challenges
  • The level of experimentation and innovation
  • The overall graphic presentation of the project, how the project presents itself.

The jury

All award entries are reviewed by an international jury and their election of the winners is based on the above criteria.

Who can participate?

The award is open to any registered student of architecture – individual or team – all over the world. We encourage multi-disciplinary teams including e.g. engineering, design and landscaping. Every student or student team must be backed and granted submission by a teacher from a school of architecture.The award welcomes projects from individuals or groups of students, who are students during the study year 2019/20.There is no limit to the number of entries from each school, but participating schools should ensure the quality of submitted study projects, e.g. by making a prejudgment. WAC employees cannot participate.

Anonymity

To ensure anonymity, no names of entrants, teachers, schools or countries are allowed on any part of the submitted material. The registration and submission system of the International WAC  has been constructed to ensure anonymity of the participants throughout the process from registration to after the jury meeting.The award, presented every second year since 2005, is organised in co-operation with UIA, International Union of Architects, and the competition concept is based on UIA rules for international competitions.