Exterior and Interior Qualities Vs Light

From Macro to Micro Scales, architecture is the art and science of constructing buildings and other physical structures [1]. In simpler terms, it’s the built realisation of an idea or concept which fits within the landscape, social and physical context. The manipulation of space, form, texture are just some methods used to create experiences but one factor that aids in the realisation of an architect’s vision is how lighting is portrayed on the exterior and interior of a building.

“Architecture is the Learned Game, Correct and Magnificent, of Forms Assembled in the Light”

 Le Corbusier (Starchitect) [2].

Working with two separate electrical firms, one an electrical engineering company and the other an electrical contractor firm, I’ve gained insight and a greater understanding of how my tertiary studies in architecture and the process in which Electrical Consultants go through and how architecture and lighting interconnect.

Lighting was a big part of bringing one of the projects I worked on a few years ago to life; otherwise, the idea and concept behind it would not be clearly interpreted. The images below were taken at a lighting test that I attended, where we put the lighting systems of the exterior and interior to the test if the experiences wanting to be created where fulfilled.

Exterior: (Commercial Project in Western Australia)


                                Image 1:  Exterior Glass Panels [3]                                            Image 2: LED Strip Lights [3]

The Project’s exterior façade (Image 1), which features glass panelling and LED Strip Lights along the bottom of the steel beam. When the light is reflected upwards, it creates an ombre effect turning various colours into light and then dark as it fades out. We developed and tested different colours and patterns during the lighting test, depending on the type of event or mood the centre wanted to convey. For example, a light show of red fading into blue was chosen for Australia Day.

By selecting colours that people associate with specific events, you can create a memorable experience by evoking a memory. Since the exterior panels light display colours are mirrored to the ceiling above the outdoor seating area, this light display would have been seen by not only the people inside the centre (Image 2), but also by people travelling by vehicle or walking. Creating this experience was critical to the building’s vision as it created a sense of place for all.

Interior: (Commercial Project in Western Australia)


                                       Image 3: ‘Fake’ Skylight [3]                            Image 4: LED Strip Lights [3]

The use of ‘fake skylights,’ which are actually only frosted glass with white LED Strip Lights enclosed inside, provided the illusion of natural lighting entering the space (Image 3). The architect for this project wanted to draw attention to the design’s focal point, the “heart,” which is the brightest part of the interior design. The rest of the centre, on the other hand strip lighting on the ceiling was used as a way-finding tool to attract shoppers back to the ‘core,’ effectively directing customers to engage with each other subconsciously (Image 4). Which people develop an experience by interaction and observation.





[1] All About Architecture, “What is Architecture,” All About Architecture, July 31, 2018,                                https://medium.com/@AAA_Publication/what-is-architecture-1b52f5339c2a

[2] Mirage Studio. Digital Image. 16 Le Corbusier Quotes on Light, Materials, Architecture Style And Form. Accessed April 5,      2021. https://blog.miragestudio7.com/le-corbusier-quotes/6592/

[3] Katelin Dawe. Digital Image. Lighting Test Site Photos. Accessed April 5, 2021.