A worthy addition to any design library, The Architecture of Natural Light, by architect and photographer Henry Plummer, considers the effects of natural light in contemporary architecture. Through its use of stunning color photographs and accompanying illustrated diagrams, combined with Plummer's knowledge and experience in the design profession, the reader is given a solid historical overview about the use of natural light in architecture and its application in the buildings we know and inhabit today.
The 256-page book is organized into seven different sections, each one focusing on a specific quality of natural light: evanescence (the orchestration of light to mutate through time); procession (the choreography of light for the moving eye); veils of glass (the refraction of light in a diaphanous film); atomization (the sifting of light through a porous screen); canalization (the channeling of light through a hollow mass); atmospheric silence (the suffusion of light with a unified mood); and luminescence (the materialization of light in physical matter). Each chapter begins with a discussion of specific examples from architecture, art, literature, film, science, and philosophy in which the specific aspect of light being discussed has been used. This is followed by a series of case studies in which Plummer analyzes contemporary buildings. Here he explains the way in which the architects have incorporated natural light into their architectural designs, the way in which light shapes the space, and its impact on occupants.
The Architecture of Natural Light is a wonderful showcase for how architecture and light intersect and it holds a wealth of information for architects and lighting designers alike. The sampling of seminal projects illustrates not only what has been achieved in the realm of design and light, but what is still yet to be explored.