On May 16, 2018, The UNESCO International Day of Light, the poetic Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi was announced as laureate of The Daylight Award 2018.
Apart from Hiroshi Sambuichi, American researcher Greg Ward also won the award. In addition to the honor, the laureates each receive €100,000 for their groundbreaking work and dedication to daylight.
Hiroshi Sambuichi presented his architecture powered by nature which balances the relationship between nature and architecture. The movement of earth, wind, air, water, and sun are integral parts in his buildings including the Shizuki Castle House and Naoshima Hall in Japan. As such, his buildings exist in harmony with their surroundings. It is not objectifying light as a singular event, but rather opening our awareness and experience of light to be timeless, fluid and rich.
“To me, architecture is ideal when you look at its form and the moving materials around the site, such as when the wind, water and the sun become visible. A close examination of changing wind directions and intensities in daylight influences the site and enables me to understand what kind of architecture is really needed on each location,” says Hiroshi Sambuichi.
His works are rooted in the local environment and are manifestations of the skilful use of the moving powers of nature. The American architect James Carpenter, former laureate of The Daylight Award and member of The Daylight Award jury, describes Sambuichi’s approach: “What is really extraordinarily unique about Hiroshi Sambuichi’s work is the amount of emphasis he puts on research relative to the site of his buildings. All architects speak of the site being important for the work. However, for Sambuichi, there is a much deeper and finer grain to his understanding of the site. It is an understanding that resonates with the forces of the wind, rain, sun and earthen elements, speaking to a more metaphysical sublime.”
The Daylight Award honors and supports daylight research and daylight in architecture, for the benefit of human health, well-being and the environment. The award puts specific emphasis on the interrelation between theory and practice. The Daylight Award is given every second year in two categories: Daylight Research and Daylight in Architecture. The award is given as two personal prizes and a sum of €100,000.