Architecture of the Night - LAb[au]

Luminous Buildings

NAI, Netherlands Architecture Institute
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
27.01.2007 - 06.05.2007
Saskia van Stein

Touch, interactive urban installation

The Touch project is exhibited besides: Jean Nouvel skyscraper of Barcelona, Toyo Ito's Tower of Wind, Zumthors contemporary art museum in Bregenz, Austria, Ben Van Berkels shopping mall in Seoul, Realities United Blix _ project in Graz, Austria __ besides many others.


Cities today bathe in light. Artificial light has brought about a major change in the way we experience the city: the night has come to life. The exhibition "Architecture of the Night - Luminous Buildings" shows how over the last hundred years the use of artificial light has changed the way we design and build as well as how we experience the built-up environment at night.

Hot issue: Discussions on the application of artificial light in façades and in the public space are starting up again. Technological developments, such as the environment-friendly LED, make more and more possible, but how far should we go in that direction? Artificial light has brought safety: activities which cannot bear the light of day are discouraged by artificial light at night too. It has even become


enjoyable to tour the city by night: buildings are beautifully lit up and add a sense of drama to the scene.

Some critics warn of the danger of going too far in the incorporation of (commercial) messages in the façade. Moreover, artificial light influences our biorhythm as well as that of animals and plants that are exposed to it. Light pollution has become a political issue today. And with the threat of an energy shortage, it becomes increasingly urgent to think about the amount of electricity that all this lighting uses.

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