An analysis of daylighting in the works of Alvar Aalto and Louis I. Kahn
Peters, Patrick A.
Master of Architecture
This thesis focuses on the manner in which two contemporaries, Alvar Aalto and Louis I. Kahn, each recognized the potential for and developed techniques toward the realization of daylighting's efficacy for the clarification of the architect's spatial concept. Although the architectural responses of these two architects differed greatly, common tendencies may be found to underlie the work of both. While in Aalto's case, the architect's interest in daylighting initiated with an investigation of functional illumination, and in Kahn's case, began with an investigation of spatial characterization, the interest of each matured toward the pursuit of a compound daylighting program dependent upon both the techniques of chiaroscuro for the emphasis of texture and mass and of silhouetting for the emphasis of profile and spatial layering. In the work of both a commitment to a compound, rather than a singular manner of integrating daylighting contributed to the fragmentation of mass and the merging of the artifact with the landscape.