Natural light has always been an essential component in the design of buildings and architecture—the element not only evokes uplifting sentiments of calmness and well-being, but also allows interior spaces to feel more open and inviting. Through its flexibility also comes opportunities for expression: from the shape to the angle of how light can be brought into a building, it is crucial for our team to consider strategic and unexpected intersections of design and light during early schematic phases.
At SHAPE Architecture, skylights continue to be key instruments for controlling and enhancing the quantity of light being let in and its distribution throughout spaces. Placed high above the floor, they allow the light to diffuse significantly before it reaches the ground. By incorporating skylights as focal points of the design, we can create remarkable moments for daylight to enter from above and provide visual comfort for spaces that cannot be adequately lit by windows along the exterior envelope (e.g., spaces at the center of the building where light from exterior windows cannot reach).
This lighting concept becomes critical as we continue to develop and refine the townhouse typology within our projects. For stacked townhouses, we have often integrated skylights with the design of roof accesses to significantly improve the living qualities of the residential units—allowing them to have higher ceilings to permit better access to natural air and daylight thru the depth of the plan. These roof access designs also help in the servicing of green roofs atop the stacked townhouses and provide much needed private outdoor amenity space for the individual units.