03. Realise Development document & Proposal summary DS10
Summary of Content This book documents the research undertaken to inform my design considerations for the final project in the first year of the Graduate Diploma in Architecture (RIBA Part II) at the University of Westminster. In addition it documents the process of design work including sketch proposals and both analogue and digital experimentation. Images and drawings of the final proposal are included at the end for reference although at a smaller scale. Please see the portfolio for high resolution full scale presentation for the final proposal.
Final Proposal (lower resolution summary included in this documentation - see portfolio for full resolution presentation images:
Physical properties of light
Daylighting design in buildings
Using water in buildings
Plans, Sections and Elevations
Circadian rhythm related disorders world maps
Disrupting the circadian rhythm and locating my proposal
Mirror Array Roof Component Details
Redirecting sunlight, precedent studies
Physical Model Rattenberg - â€œThe Glass Town of Tirolâ€?:
Overview of the town
Visiting Rattenberg - my trip to the site
Ecotect shading analysis
Architectural references from the town
Final Design Proposal - Design Development:
Initial strategy - bringing sunlight to my site
Developing sun spaces - design intentions, pre-visit design work
A change in programme - development following my visit to the town
History of glassworks in the town and the glassblowing process
Designing the heliostat mirror and lens arrays for focusing sunlight to my building
03_Realise Initial Research Taking ideas and inspiration from the Burning Man proposal into a real world application, this chapter outlines the initial research directions and provides the 多ndings. This ends in the production of an abstract outlining the 多nal design project of the year.
Physical Properties of Light 01 The electromagnetic spectrum, diffraction and refraction
From the playa fantasies to real world issues
The electromagnetic spectrum
My Burning Man proposal chieÀy focused on the ability of light to change the nature of a space and in particular, looked at how the variation of light: through night and day; movement of the source; or changing colours; led to a constantly interesting and exciting space that participants would want to be in. It is my intention to carry those key elements and look at the variation of light within my ¿nal design proposal this year.
Light is a form of radiation with all the same properties as other forms of radiation such as radio waves or gamma rays. As a result it can be categorised as such and sits within the electromagnetic spectrum, a list of radiation sorted by wavelengths. Visible light makes up a very small section of the electromagnetic spectrum with only a 300 nanometre variation between its extremes in wavelengths (see ¿gure 01).
Refraction is the easiest way to show how the physical properties of light, in particular the wavelength and frequency of light, can affect how it travels through varying mediums and in turn how it can be manipulated in space. It also shows how white light everywhere is made up of all the colours we can see. These properties are easiest to demonstrate in a prism. Light travels at a constant speed in a vacuum, 3x108 ms-1, but varies when travelling in other mediums. As light passes through a medium it excites vibrations at a molecular level within the medium causing the light speed to be modi¿ed. Higher frequencies (and therefore lower wavelengths as speed is constant initially and speed = frequency x wavelength) cause more vibrations and are
Understanding the physical properties of light is essential to a knowledge of controlling light within architectural spaces. However my proposal develops, I will need to be able to manipulate light or light sources to achieve the desired effects. The next few pages look at the physical properties of light and how that can help an architectural manifestation. Please note these are very basic summaries and may have been oversimpli¿ed in cases but are intended as an overview. They should not be read as a de¿nitive guide to the physical properties of light.
Refraction occurs at any interface where there is a difference in the the refractive indices have change example air and glass or air and wa Light will bend towards the normal when travelling from less dense to normal when travelling from a more
Angle of incidence (i) Angle o
therefore slowed more in the material. This causes the dispersion of white light where each colour, and consequently different wavelength of light, is bent by a different amount within the refractive medium. The amount which a material ‘bends’ the light is observed as the refractive index. A higher index material will refract light greater than a lower index material. See the table on this page for a list of common refractive materials sorted by indices.
The refractive index of a material (n n = sin i / sin r
Some representative refractive indices e of transparent or translucent materials e density of the materials and therefore ed. This includes mediums such as air for ater. for the plane of incidence of the light ray a more dense medium and away from the e dense to a less dense.
Lenses work using principles of refraction and can be used to focus or disperse light. Lenses are particularly important in any optic system for controlling light. They have many applications from recreating optical images in cameras to focusing light to capture heat. Some basic lenses are shown as raytracing diagrams below.
1 (per de¿nition)
Air at STP
Gases at 0 °C and 1 atm Convex / convergent or focusing lenses:
Concave / divergent or diffusing lenses:
Ethyl alcohol (ethanol)
Liquids at 20 °C
Silicone oil edium
Solids at room temperature Double convex lens
Double concave lens
Normal to surface
Fused silica (also called Fused 589.29 Quartz)
of refraction (r)
Plano - convex lens
Plano - concave lens
n) is de¿ned experimentally as:
Positive meniscus lens
Negative meniscus lens
1.490 - 1.492
1.584 - 1.586
Crown glass (pure)
1.50 - 1.54
Flint glass (pure)
1.60 - 1.62
Crown glass (impure)
1.485 - 1.755
Sugar Solution, 50%
Physical Properties of Light 02 ReÀection laws, mirrors and capturing light
Principles of reflection
The other commonly demonstrated property of light, also diagrammed with ray tracing, is reÀections. The only reason we can see the world around us is that all objects reÀect light into our eyes where we see an ‘image’ of the external environment. Different colours arise as some objects absorb certain wavelengths of light but reÀect others. An object that appears white reÀects all of the radiation that hits it that sits within the visible light spectra on the electromagnetic spectrum. In opposition an object that appears black absorbs all of the incident radiation and doesn’t reÀect any of the visible light spectra into our eyes.
ReÀections follow a very simple rule. Light incident on a surface reÀects off that surface at the same angle to the normal that it hit it. That is, the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reÀection: ԭ(i)͑ͮ͑ԭ(r)
The angle of incidence will always equal the angle of reÀection even when the shape of the mirror changes. By controlling the geometry of the reÀective surface we can control light much like a lens by focusing it or diffusing it. The examples shown here require the incoming light to be parallel rays and also parallel to the mirror axis (running through the centre point and the focal points). Concave Mirror
Therefore as with refraction, the material receiving light rays makes a big difference in the outcome of the space the light is having an effect on. This page looks at how reÀection works, how it is calculated and how geometries can be applied that help to control reÀections, as lenses control refractions.
Angle of incidence
Normal to surface
Spherical mirrors have spherical aberration where not all the rays share the same focal point.
ԭ(r) Angle of reÀection
F Mirrored surface
Parabolic mirrors however focus all the parallel rays to a single focal point. Notice how the light rays are still following the reÀection law at each point of incidence on the mirror (the normals are shown dashed).
As with the concave mirrors, the mi have a single focal point although c
Problems with focusing light
Dynamic solar collectors - Heliostats
The incident rays on convex mirrors need to be not only parallel to all pass through the focal point, but also parallel to the central axis of the mirror. This means that with a light source such as the sun, that isn’t ¿xed, the mirror becomes very inef¿cient. There are many designs for ¿xed solar collectors that utilise clever geometry to capture the maximum amount of energy some of which are shown below.
Heliostatic (from the Greek helios for sun and stat meaning stationary) mirrors follow and track the suns movement. This means that their central axis is always facing the sun allowing for maximum energy capture. There is still loss in that there is a deviation in the sun’s rays of approximately 0.1 rad so they do not hit the mirrors completely parallel. There are a variety of methods ranging from clockwork mechanisms to hi-tech computer controlled solutions to control the movement. This largely depends on whether the mirror orientation is aligned to the predicted position of the sun (now very easy to predict incredibly accurately) or whether it senses the sun’s position in the sky and adapts accordingly. Heliostats that are hand-operated, clockwork controlled or using sensors are now very rare. Although sensors appear hi-tech on cloudy days they can potentially lose the sun and nearly all heliostats are now aligned to the sun’s position with the aid of a computer and awareness of the sun’s movement and relative position of the tracker on earth. Heliostatic mirrors are used at large scale solar thermal power plants in Spain, Germany and the USA with thousands of mirrors arrayed across the ground in a con¿guration inspired by the spirals of sunÀower seeds.
irror surface would need to be parabolic to convex mirrors have a virtual focus.
“Properly designed compound parabolas can focus sunlight from many and various angles to a common focal point, thus a compound parabola solar collector does not need to track the sun in order to concentrate the sun’s energy, to much higher energy density levels.”
Daylight Design in Buildings 01 Precedent studies for innovative daylighting solutions
A Litre of Light - Isang Litrong Liwanag A litre of light is an initiative by the My Shelter Foundation aiming to not only provide a recycling solution but to solve the problem of a lack of light in some of the poorest communities in the Phillipines. Due to the high density of shacks in some of these communities hundreds of thousands of families live and work in complete darkness during the day. The solution is an eco-friendly solar bottle bulb. “Designed and developed by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Solar Bottle Bulb is based on the principles of Appropriate Technologies – a concept that provides simple and easily replicable technologies that address basic needs in developing communities.”1 The bulb is made with a simple plastic bottle ¿lled to the top with a litre of ¿ltered water and two capfuls of bleach to ensure no mould growth. The bottles are ¿tted and sealed in pieces of corrugated metal that are then riveted and sealed into the roofs of the shacks. The daylight is refracted through the water in the bottles bringing light into the rooms below. The bulb gives off light into the room below equivalent to a 55W light bulb.
The bulbs not only recycle plastic bottles, they reduce electricity bills for the residents and reduce ¿re hazards in the community improving safety conditions to an area that often experiences ¿res from faulty wires.
>> Images: 01. Branding diagram/logo for the campaign 02. The components needed to make one solar bottle: ¿ltered water, bleach, galvanized iron (GI) sheet, sealant, Soda Bottle - 1.5L or 2L. 03. The complete solar bottle 04. The solar bottle ¿tted into the house 02. 1
>> Low-tech to Hi-tech: Using direct sunlight in place of electric lights has also been researched in more developed countries. Parans are a Swedish company who have developed a system that utilises the properties of light as the liter of light project did. Instead of using water and refraction however, they have developed a system using ¿bre optics. Receivers are placed on the exterior of the building, either ¿xed or sun tracking, that feed the light through optical cables to ‘bulbs’ anywhere in the building. However, although the project successfully brings light into the building, it still appears in the form of a light bulb.
Daylight Design in Buildings 02 Precedent studies for innovative daylighting solutions
>> SunCentral Inc SunlightCentral Inc have developed a system for bringing sunlight deep into multi-storey buildings. It consists of two components, the ¿rst is an array of mirrors that track and capture the sun, the second is a duct that transports the light to the interior. Component 1 (Mirror Array, point 1 in diagram): ‘“Core Sunlight Concentration Panel”. The Sunlight Concentration Panel is an automated system that is weather sealed with patented optics that automatically tracks, collects, concentrates and then guides sunlight into buildings via a small aperture. The Sunlight Concentration Panel is designed for placement Àexibility. It can reside as a canopy on the building exterior providing passive shading. It can also be integrated into a building’s skin in a semiÀush and completely Àush con¿guration, thus being not visible from the exterior.’ Component 2 (light guides, point 2 and 3 in diagram): “Hybrid Light Guides”. The Hybrid Light Guides are a dual-purpose commercial lighting system that enables the delivery of sunlight deep into the interior regions of multi-storey buildings. The Hybrid Light Guides house advanced arti¿cial lighting (plasma, LED, Àuorescent) that automatically compensate during periods of cloud cover and darkness. The Hybrid Light Guides resemble traditional ventilation ducts which contain reÀective and prismatic materials that enable us to deliver sunlight 65 feet deep into each Àoor of multi-storey commercial buildings. Our R&D efforts will increase the depth of our sunlight penetration from the current 65 feet deep level. The depth and width of the Hybrid Light Guide will depend on the required depth needed for the building. From an end-user perspective, the light guide can be seamlessly integrated into a wide range of conventional lighting systems. The lighting can be Àush with the ceiling and it can also be easily adapted into various contemporary suspended lighting designs.
>> Louis Kahn - Kimbell Art Museum
“So this is a kind of invention that comes out of the desire to have natural light. Because it is the light the painter used to paint his painting. And arti¿cial light is a static light . . . where natural light is a light of mood . . . the painting must reveal itself in different aspects if the moods of light are included in its viewing, in its seeing. I think that’s the nature, really, of a place where you see paintings.” — Louis Kahn, Light is the Theme
Reversing the lightshelf:
The Kimbell Art Museum’s manipulation of daylight is akin to an internal lightshelf. Lightshelves are commonly bolted onto the outside of buildings like louvres providing shading and diffuse light in summer as well as letting in winter light. In addition, lighshelves are easy to retro¿t to projects. They can be simply bolted onto the interior or exterior of a building. Geoffrey Gainer at ActualSize Architecture has carried out experiments adding a reÀecting surface to improve the lighting gains from rooÀights. By placing a convex mirror above the skylight he aims to improve winter sunlight gains maximising the lower sun angle to bring more light into the building.
Using Water in Buildings Precedent studies for innovative use of water in design and its effect on sunlight within a space
Water is a great material for controlling light. It can reÀect and refract light very well and as it is moving provides an ever changing ‘lightscape’. Although not great as a thermal store for heating the building, it does have a thermal mass and has the added thermal regulator of evaporative cooling in hotter, drier climates. The effect of water on light could be really interesting to explore, in particular in relation to the psychological effects. Water is often linked with moods or feelings such as stormy seas or a still calm ocean.. >> 01.Manco Architects - ‘Conceptual Mosque’ ‘An ablution area is located underneath the mosque to enable direct access to the prayer area. The water also aids in facilitating natural sunlight to enter the mosque, as well as direct cool cross ventilation. ‘ 02. Caustic reÀections from water are often seen on the underside of bridges on bright days. Waves or ripples on the water’s surface cause differing angles of reÀection or refraction (depending on whether the pattern is seen above or below the surface). The reÀected or refracted rays interfere with one another either positively, causing a bright spot; or negatively causing no light. 03. ReÀections in water, particularly still water have the ability to extend space and blur perceptions of borders 04. Water has the potential for energy storage for example in solar thermal panels 05. Running water across a building facade 06. The blur building by Diller and Sco¿dio literally creates a cloud of water vapour causing the building to ‘disappear’ and the visitor to become completely disorientated 07. Composite facade combining solar cells, water boxes and a green wall which also helps to tie the building back to nature despite the modern aesthetics 08. Osaka water clock uses computer controlled valves to write in water droplets. 01.
Circadian Rhythm Related Disorders by Country Some statistical maps provided by the World Health Organisation. This was a starting point for looking at pschological and behavioural disorders sometimes associated with daylighting and seasonal patterns as an initial direction to focus my proposal development.
Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rates from Unipolar depressive disorders by country (per 100,000 inhabitants). no data less than 700 700-775 775-850 850-925 925-1000 1000-1075 1075-1150 1150-1225 1225-1300 1300-1375 1375-1450 more than 1450 Notes: The data/colour given for the following former countries were assigned as follows: â€œSerbia and Montenegroâ€?: Serbia, Montenegro The following groupings/assumptions were made: France includes the overseas departments as well as overseas collectivities. The United Kingdom includes the Crown dependencies as well as the overseas territories. The United States of America includes the insular areas. The Netherlands includes Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles. Denmark includes Greenland and the Faroe islands. China includes the SARs of Hong Kong and Macao.
Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rates from Insomnia by country (per 100,000 inhabitants). no data less than 25 25-30.25 30.25-36 36-41.5 41.5-47 47-52.5 52.5-58 58-63.5 63.5-69 69-74.5 74.5-80 more than 80 Notes: The data/colour given for the following former countries were assigned as follows: â€œSerbia and Montenegroâ€?: Serbia, Montenegro The following groupings/assumptions were made: France includes the overseas departments as well as overseas collectivities. The United Kingdom includes the Crown dependencies as well as the overseas territories. The United States of America includes the insular areas. The Netherlands includes Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles. Denmark includes Greenland and the Faroe islands. China includes the SARs of Hong Kong and Macao.
Disruption of the Circadian Rhythm & Locating my Proposal Circadian Rhythm - The Biological Clock
Governed by: SCN interacts with natural light visual signals controlling the release of melatonin as well as other hormones
The Circadian Rhythm There is a large amount of research currently into the Circadian Rhythm - otherwise known as the sleep wake cycle or the internal body clock. It is responsible for maintaining the bodies health, controlling the release of hormones and sleep patterns and is inÀuenced by the surrounding environment. For example, the hormone melatonin helps to induce sleep however it is not released during the day as the stimulus of sunlight inhibits it. Light is not the only inÀuence on the circadian clock, eating times, timezones, illnesses and pregnancy can all have an effect.
Meal times are also shown to have an effect Ambient temperature has some effect
The reason so much research is currently looking into the circadian clock is that it can have a huge impact on everyday life. It is responsible for many sleep disorders, depression including Seasonal Affective Disorder and even obesity due to it’s effects on the bodies metabolism (¿g 01). Many companies are currently looking at cell metabolism and the impact of light levels as a ‘treatment’ for obesity.
Although large areas of the globe can potentially have the conditions able to cause SAD there are obviously places where this is more extreme such as the poles with 24 hour days at times or 24 hour nights at others. What I have tried to look for, however, is places that get little or no light closer to more generic conditions. (¿g 02). My research came across the town of Rattenberg in Tirol, Austria. The town gets almost no sunlight in the winter months due to overshadowing and is just one example of countless settlements overshadowed by mountains across the Alps.
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder
Chronic Daylight can help to regulate the circadian rhythm that can be used alongside exercise to regulate fat in the body - also controls metabolism in the body
In addition, Rattenberg have already attempted a project to bring sunlight to their streets that was never realised (¿g 03).
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Irregular Sleep/ Work Cycle
Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome
Shift work sleep disorder
Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
Not necessarily daylight although daylight can help more specific laser therapy and light in combination with drugs has shown some effect
Light Therapy has been known to have an effect 01.
Governs: - Temperature rhythm of the body - Production of melotonin - hormone that helps induce sleep in the body
Daylight not proven to have any effect although thought to help reduce likelihood - more specific laser treatments are used
Redirecting Sunlight How Rattenberg planned to bring sunlight to the town. It is not the ¿rst time this has been done...
A previous proposal The town of Rattenberg surveyed its citizens to ¿nd out what they were most unhappy about in the town. The usual responses are litter collection/build up, amenities, noise, safety etc. The majority in Rattenberg complained about the lack of sunlight in the winter months sparking off an initiative to bring light into the town. Working with Bartenbach Light Laboratory they planned to construct 20 to 30 heliostat mirrors that would reÀect sun from across the valley back to the mountain and then directed into the streets below. Although the plan was greeted with almost unanimous approval and excitement it never went ahead. The cost was an estimated £1.4 million which is an entire years budget for the town but this was going to be solved with the help of EU funding as a research project. Other concerns were also raised. With the initial mirrors placed the other side of the valley, and Autobahn, there were questions about glare and dangers to motorists as well as residents in between the mirrors and Rattenberg. The receiving mirrors on the hillside that were designed to direct the light into the streets were to be mounted on the ruins of a castle above the town also causing some concern about damage to a historic monument.
Despite the pitfalls and the fact the project never went ahead it was a feasible option, albeit one that could be improved. A similar project using a single heliostat mirror has been constructed in Viganella, Italy which helps bring light to the village square.
>> Viganella 01. Diagram explaining how the light is directed to the heart of the village 02. The mirror on the hillside 03. How the mirror appears in sunlight, lot’s of glare could be distracting and irritating 04. The effect of the mirror on the village below
<< Rattenberg 05. Illustration of the proposal 06. The receiving mirrors that direct light into the town - these are a massive structure 多xed to a historic monument above the town and de多nitely not in keeping with the medieval nature of the streets below 07. Two photos of a model for the proposal demonstrating the spread of light throughout the town - it is worth noting that this is only in a few patches throughout
Rattenberg - The â€˜Glass Townâ€™ of Tirol The history, environment and contextual analysis of the town of Rattenebrg in Austria
Rattenberg - The Town That Tired Of Life In The Shadows
“There it is, the dark mountain. For a quarter of our year it causes sadness in this place. We feel depressed and in shadow. This mountain steals our light.” Rattenberg is Austria’s smallest town with around only 450 inhabitants despite the fact it is close to Innsbruck and adjacent to the River Inn, the Autobahn in addition to a railway running through the town. The town started life in the 1100s as a silver and copper mine. During the 17th Century the town was ¿lled with the houses of wealthy merchants which remain as the majority of the town’s historic centre. Although no longer mining copper or silver the town has become known for many centuries now as a centre for hand produced glass and crystal with many shops still using the same techniques today. The ruins of a castle sit on the mountain overlooking the town and complete the tourist attractions for this pretty little town. However, tourism is practically zero in the winter and the permanent population is decreasing in size every year. The cause of this is blamed on the mountain that dominates the town rising up to 300m above the streets. Named ‘Stadtberg’ (city mountain), the solid limestone cliffs covered in a dense pineforest cast a permanent daytime shadow across the town from the middle of November to the middle of February. Many of the citizens complain of the lack of sunlight not only affecting their lives but turning away the tourists that purchase the crystal that the town produces. As many as 1 in 5 of the population are supposedly suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder and many of the younger residents are moving out. This has led to lots of empty Àats within the town centre despite many of those that work in the town choosing to live outside and travel in everyday.
<< Images 01. Aerial view from the castle of the historic centre 02. An example of the lack of sunlight on a bright day that reaches the streets 03. View of the railway and the outskirts immediately adjacent to â€˜Stadtbergâ€™ 04. One of the highstreets in the town centre (typical of the buildings that make up the centre)
Visiting Rattenberg 01
I managed to take a trip to the town of Rattenberg and see for myself the sheer scale of the mountain overshadowing the town and walk through the town’s streets. It is tiny, as the map shows (¿gure 06), essentially only the main high street and the castle up on the hillside and this is probably why the railway is so small and there is little there (the railway is literally two covered waiting areas and an automatic ticket machine, ¿gure 07). I visited just as the sun was beginning to show over the mountain although the tourist season hadn’t really started. It was almost eerie seeing a whole town with very few people in it. There were a handful of tourists and the few locals I encountered were working in the shops and inns on the highstreet (¿gure 05) and even these businesses are few. The castle is a collection of ruins sat above the town although has one fairly new building serving as a function centre (¿gure 03) with the castle grounds now used largely by an open air theatre company that puts on productions in the Summer. 02.
Views over the town are frequent with multiple vantage points from the castle grounds and on the way up to the castle, halfway up the slope and at the exit of a new glass lift from the Malerwinkel (see map), there is a rooftop view which also allows good views across the whole valley (¿gure 04). Unfortunately, the fog was down whilst I was there. The river Inn carves its way through this valley and the entire area is surrounded by mountains towering above the small towns and villages below. The high street (¿gure 05) is very picturesque and it seems a shame that residents are moving out and tourism is dwindling in the winter months except for the Christmas festival held each year. The 17th century merchant houses are all brightly painted and now house almost exclusively glass shops selling the famous Kisslinger glass with the occasional restaurant and a cafe that was the only busy place on the high street. Kisslinger have their main workshop and showroom in Rattenberg carved back into the hillside from one of the high street buildings and show off their produce in some fairly surreal environments alongside the standard glassware. 01.
08. 02. 04. 01. 03.
Visiting Rattenberg 02 Speci¿c site analysis
Before I went to Rattenberg I had attempted to look at the town from what I could gather off the internet trying to identify key opportunities within the town and some of the main constraints that I would need to consider for my design. I also tried to identify some key potential sites that may inform my investigations on my visit. This initial investigation is shown in ¿gure 01. During my visit I walked around the entire town and up to the castle. One of the key issues that struck me was, that although the town centre is pedestrianised, the car parks around the edges of the old town are poorly linked with the town centre. Simply an arch in a wall and the train station was tiny with little focus from the town towards the station. As tourist numbers are almost zero in winter I decided to focus on a site that could improve the town’s link to the public transport system and provide a secondary focus for the town with new amenity space that would become both a tourist highlight and a space for residents.
>> Legend Dense Pine Forest
Dense Pine Forest
02. Play area To Brixlegg and the Autobahn to Innsbruck and Germany
r the unde nnels ay tu Railw
03. Car Parking needs to be maintained 04. Public WCs (could be upgraded/ relocated)
05. Pedestrian passageway to town centre (Doorway in wall - poorly signed, see photos on next page)
To Kundl and Wörgl
06. Pedestrian passageway to town centre (Arch in wall - poorly signed, see photos on next page)
ION STAT WAY RAIL
07. Railway tunnel passes directly under the castle
08. Route up to the castle
This meant that I concentrated my site speci¿c analysis on the site shown in ¿gure 02.
The main bene¿t of this site is it becomes immediately obvious as a chance to open up the historic town to the countryside and provide a direct and visual link from the mountain top to the castle and the railway to the town entrance to the river front and the main route to the neighbouring town.
Dense Pine Forest
Main through roads
Potential site locations
09. Castle and grounds including open air theatre 10. Malerwinkel glass lift up towards foot of castle 11. The high street and the sole concentration of shops, cafes and businesses Pedestrian movement/routes Railway Extent of railway platform Existing trees on site form green enclosure (other trees in car park not marked on) Important views to maintain from the site: the castle; the river and entrance to the town; and the mountain and valley behind and to the east
08. 07. 10.
Visiting Rattenberg 03 Speci¿c site photographic analysis
This page demonstrates a photographic journal from and to my site and identi¿es a series of problems that need to be addressed. These can be summarised as follows: The entrances and exits from the railway are small, often dark and poorly signposted. It is not immediately apparent how to reach the town centre
Limited views from the railway exits mean there is no immediate direct link between the railway and the town
There is very limited public amenity space
The play area that does exist is sandwiched between the railway, a large car park and some garages. The town turns its back on this area.
04 03 08
02. From the platform... 06
03. ... to the ground
There appeared to be no-one passing through this area at almost any point during the day.
01. Even when there is a more direct link to the town centre as here, it is not immediately apparent and almost discourages visitors
Route from the railway station
One of the only outdoor seats in the town
No entry sign confusing for pedestrians
04. This is the view from the front steps to the railway and from 03
This sign is the only noti¿cation of the castle
Route to the town centre
Entrance to the old town seen in 08.
Again, from the railway, visitors walk past garages and the backs of properties
Railway entrance seen in 03 & 04. 07. From my site looking towards the old town. The entrance to the railway and the town can also be seen.
06. Looking towards my site from the car park. The current play area is ‘trapped’ between the railway and the car park.
08. ‘Passage Zentrum’ ... pedestrian route to town centre
Pedestrian route twists through the ground Àoor
Car route through the old town gateways
Existing public WCs
05. The station is made up of two covered areas and a ticket machine, the mountain shadowing the town can be seen in the background
09. This unmarked archway is another passage to the town
Rattenberg Shading Analysis
These diagrams represent a series of shading analysis for Rattenberg throughout an entire day across a range of dates of the year. They are focused solely on the winter months to demonstrate how much of an impact the mountain has on the town when the sun is at its lowest. They will, in addition, provide a basis of analysis for design.
<< Image Legend - Shaded in dark grey are the Autobahn (motorway), main roads and local roads in the area - The annual sunpath is represented by the spherical grid overlay, the particular date is marked by the orange line with an orange circle representing the sun at 12:00 noon on that particular date - The shadows are taken every 15 minutes throughout the day and overlaid upon each other. Therefore, the darker the shadow the longer that area of the topography is in shade for during the day.
<< Image Captions 01. 21st November 02. 21st December 03. 21st January 04. 21st February 05. 21st March 05.
Rattenberg Vernacular Architectural References
On visiting Rattenberg it is immediately apparent that certain architectural features run through the buildings of the old town and the centre that I am trying to open up to the residents and tourists visiting the town. These are documented on this page alongside a few one off features of modern interventions that I found within the old town.
Covered external staircases Many doors in the old town except for the high street do not sit on the ground Àoor. Entry to each building is at various levels depending either on the surrounding topography or the use of the ground Àoor, often a cellar or store room. The stairs leading up vary between open bridges or more solid construction that is a part of the building it leads to.
Bay windows feature heavily in the old town of Rattenberg as can be seen in the image below (02). These are always above ground Àoor level and vary in height often the most ornate part of a facade.
The majority of the entrance doors to the old town are on the ground Àoor and are arched, all to similar if not the same, stone proportions. The arches contrast to the rectilinear windows and doors in higher Àoors and provide a grander entrance.
For each, I have created a logo that captures the feature/ideas in the same way as the tourist directional signs in the town (see photo above). I will use these logos throughout the development pages to highlight the use of or reference to certain features within my designs.
<< Images 01. Photo of a bay window in Rattenberg 02. Diagrammatic photo highlighting plurality of bay windows in the old town 03. Photographic examples of external covered staircases in the old town 04. Photo of one of the existing entrances common to buildings along the high street in the old town Vaulted ceilings form many of the interiors around Rattenberg. Historically as in the monastery this is expected but it also makes up passageways between buildings and the interiors of the inns and cafes.
Towers can be found across the old town protruding from the roofs below in a variety of forms. These range from lifts to bell towers to the castle fortiÂżcations and also aid the skyline of the town.
05. A drawing showing a typical entrance door in elevation, plan and section 06. Even the new external glass lift up to the castle forms another tower in the townâ€™s skyline as can be seen in the diagram 07 07. Diagrammatic photo highlighting the numerous, yet different towers in the town skyline 08. Historic vaulting in the Augustinian monastery
09. Examples of other vaulted spaces in the town
Rattenberg Material References
The pallet of materials in Rattenberg is diverse mixing the rock of the mountain and the castle with the ¿ner ¿nishes of the facades of the old merchant houses.
06. Steel and glass construction
05. Railway track steels
04. Cut stone
03. Coloured render
02. Rough stone and timber
01. Rough stone and concrete
I will be looking to in corporate the town’s crystal and glass production with additional modern references such as the railway to marry my design into the historic town centre visually linking the sunlight with the old town.
12. Deciduous trees
11. Painted glass
10. Brushed steel and crystal
09. Rough crystal glass blocks
08. Silicon jointed transparent and translucent glass
07. Translucent frameless glass
A combination of materials that both compliment each other and reference the town will form the best approach. The choice of these materials should be informed by the desired lighting effect and their impact on the spaces created, details of different sunlighting effects can be found on the next pages.
Final Design Proposal - Design Development Documenting the process of design as it develops into my 多nal project
Design Development 01 Strategy for bringing light to the town - a focal point
>> The proposal functions as a holistic system that can be summarised as the following events: 01. Rainwater is collected in the main proposal building to ¿ll a reÀective pool in the central space and a network of optic tubes to transport natural light to its destination 03.
02. Rainwater is supplemented with water from the River Inn 03. A Heliostat array sits on top of the hillside directing sunlight into a focal point within the tower in the proposal 04. A lens and mirror system takes the focussed sunlight and distributes it into the optic tubes 05. Tubes carry the light via a water core to strategic points within the building fabric, as the water is released, the surfaces it comes into contact with dissipating and diffracting the light into the spaces 06. Additional optic tubes carry the ‘lit’ water into the historic town to create street installations that throw daylight and the effect of daylight into the darker streets. 07. OverÀow water is returned to the River Inn
04. 05. 06. 07.
Heliostat mirror arrays mounted on top of the hill based on an ecotect study (right) for total direct solar access hours over the winter months. These arrays will direct sunlight to the collection point at the base of the mountain and not zigzagged across the valley as the previous proposal for the town
The main proposal building houses an additional ticket of¿ce and atria for the railway, cafe space, an exhibition gallery and a tourist information centre. This building also collects the solar energy and focuses it through the water optic pipes to be distributed throughout the building and the city
03. 04. 06.
Daylight street furniture throughout the historic town will bring light to the dark streets utilising the water core optics from the main building.
>> Initial Massing Ideas 01. ‘Solar Tower’ collects the light from the mountainside and focuses it into the ‘water optic’ tubes. Also provides access over the railway and into the main building from the railway 02. The water tubes are distributed across the roof elements transporting daylight around the building 03. Additional ticket of¿ce for the railway 04. Central atria pool and caustic reÀections across the Àoating roof 05. Gallery/Exhibit space - initially with exhibit to explain how the lighting systems work and light up the town 06. Cafe/Shop areas 07. Entrances and main routes through the structure expressed in structural glass elements reminiscent of the crystal that the town is famous for An initial attempt to use Grasshopper and Ecotect using a plug in called Geco to try and calculate yearly averaged radiation levels across the top of the mountain. These would be used to inform the placement of mirrors for directing light towards my proposal.
08. Lower solid elements for staff of¿ces and shaded public areas. These make reference to the pitched roofs of the town and the local clay tiled ¿nishes. 09. Tourist information
Design Development 02 Transporting light, ¿bre optics, internal reÀection and potential problems
Although there is a larger strategy for getting sun over the mountain and down to my proposal the next stage is the distribution of sunlight throughout my building and potentially the town. I am looking to take forward my burning man concept and play with the movement of light through liquid, in particular water tubes. Ultimately I want to create a kind of ‘water optic’ cable that can transport light throughout the building. It will not be as ef¿cient as ¿bre optics but could possibly bring a nice quality of lighting even where the light isn’t speci¿cally being directed to. I ¿rst began to experiment with just running columns of water. After proving that this worked I moved on to looking at how ¿bre optics work and the creation of a water optic technology. This proved tricky, in theory it would work albeit with large inef¿ciencies as explained on this page and losses. It would need further testing although I also began to develop an architecture utilising this as a solution.
The column of water is dropped from the centre of the array
The light can be seen bouncing off each side of the column of water, dimming as it goes showing a loss of energy at the boundary Where the column is broken, when it hits the sink surface, the light dissipates, reÀecting off the surface that it hits
<< Principles of Fibre Optics Fibre optics utilise total internal reÀection. This is a way of bouncing light rays around corners and long distances with minimal losses as it is a very ef¿cient transfer of energy. When light travels between two materials there will be some light reÀected and some light refracted. Every material has a refractive index including air which is approximately 1. A material’s refractive index (RI) is calculated by the speed of light in a vacuum divided by the speed of light within the material. In a ¿bre optic there are two main parts, the core and the cladding. The core is usually strands of very pure optical glass that are drawn out into ¿bres and coated during this process to give a cladding. The core needs to have a higher RI value than the cladding (the core’s RI will be referred to as n1 and the cladding’s as n2). This is critical. As before when looking at lenses, as light travels from a material of a higher RI to a material with a lower RI then the refracted ray will bend away from the normal of the surface. At a certain angle of incidence known as the critical angle, the ray will be bent exactly along the surface of the material. Therefore any angle of incidence greater than the critical angle will not refract at all, instead all the light is reÀected. This is the principle behind total internal reÀection. The critical angle can be worked out as follows: ԭc = cos (n2/n1) This also means that light entering the ¿bre optic needs to be greater than the critical angle. This is worked out using the acceptance angle (ԭa͚͟
>> Designing a mirror component to reÀect light from the water optic tubes
The column of water is dropped from the centre of the array
Silicon jointed frameless glass provides a weather envelope at the exterior Supports for each mirror plane
5 mirror planes, offset so that the water can hit only one at a time depending on the inclination of the planes
Pebble drainage system collects the water being dropped for reuse
This angle is measured from the cylindrical axis of the ¿bre optic and can be worked out using: ԭa = sin–1 [(n1/n0) sin(ԭc)] where n0 is the refractive index of air. Whilst the principle of ¿bre optics is perfect for what I wish to achieve there is a problem in using a water core. Water only has a refractive index of 1.3 (approximately). This means the cladding that coats the water (holds the water) would need to have a lower RI and there are few materials that do except for gases and some liquid gases. I am looking for a material that may do this however with the relatively small distances involved in simply piping light around my building it may be possible to get this to work although there will be losses at every bounce. It could diffuse light throughout the space although maybe not bright enough for the desired effect. There is some work using microstructure ¿bres that have a water core with a silica-air cladding however this is too small for what I have in mind.
Design Development 03 Developing an architecture - before I visited the town
I developed my design along the lines of creating interesting spaces that utilise sunlight. At this stage of development I had not visited the town as shown in the earlier analysis pages so programmatically this iteration was lacking and the architecture still wasnâ€™t very well developed. This was the last design step before I went to my site and as a result my design changes dramatically from here but some of the intentions and principles remain true. This page documents some of the initial spaces and the intended effects to be created using some screenshots and images. >> Images 01. Internal render of the entrance showing the mirror wall providing a direct link to the railway. 02. An open public seating area with a pool fed from rainwater from the roof. In addition water from the sun tubes would be dropped from the roof into the pool causing sunlight and ripples to reĂ€ect throughout the space. 03. Columns have always been used to add rhythm and solidity to a space. This is also true of the shadows they cast and would help to make apparent the sunlight Ă€ooding the space as opposed to just daylight. 04. Initial attempt at solar tower design incorporating glass lift to access the railway levels 05. Layers of glass, refractions and varying opacities are important to my design and need to be worked in further. 06. Providing green space is important but so to is the varying light found in dappled sunlight from trees.
Design Development 04 Returning from Rattenberg - a new approach
After returning from Rattenberg I carried out the more speci¿c site analysis and documented my ¿ndings as shown earlier. As a reminder the main issues to address were: •
The entrances and exits from the railway are small, often dark and poorly signposted. It is not immediately apparent how to reach the town centre
Limited views from the railway exits mean there is no immediate direct link between the railway and the town
There is very limited public amenity space
The play area that does exist is sandwiched between the railway, a large car park and some garages. The town turns its back on this area.
There appeared to be no-one passing through this area at almost any point during the day.
The direction I took was still maintaining a new link with the railway but I also found that despite the numerous glass shops and the town’s reputation as the glass town of Tirol, it was hard to see how it all happened. The Kisslinger main building on the highstreet did have a glass works that could be viewed from their shop but only at certain times of day and not in the season when I visited. I decided my proposal should be a building that is not only for the residents but as part of linking the historic town to the railway and coach parking better, should sell the town as soon as you arrive and incorporate a glassblowing workshop at the heart of the building. The rest of the proposal aims to provide park space, relaxation areas and areas of visual interest that can be a permanent beacon of light during the winter months.
>> Images 01. Internal render showing new glass workshop open to view from all sides. Water from the roof brings additional visual interest as well as providing cooling baths for the glass tools and helping to cool the space 02. Summary of design intent (see legend to the right hand side of the image) 01.
>> Legend from the site analysis Pedestrian movement/routes Railway Existing trees largely maintained (though not shown here). Landscaped park follows line of trees and wraps around and through the building The elevated walkway provides a brighter, more direct link to the railway whilst providing sight lines to the town centre, the castle and the river
The building opens up to the car park on all adjacent sides
The solar tower has been relocated closer to the town centre to immediately show the sunlight being collected and to mirror the form of the valley within my building establishing a relationship with the mountain.
The glass workshop ties the whole building together sat within the heart of the building as the industry sits within the heart of the town. It makes it viewable to everyone entering the town from the railway or the large car park and coach park.
Design Development 05 Kisslinger Glass, the materials and the history in Rattenberg
This page documents the glass blowing process and a typical set up alongside how Kisslinger manufacture their glass and how I have laid out the workshop in my proposal. Much of this page is directly copied from the Kisslinger website as it gives a concise explanation into the founding of the company, how their glass is made and the history of the company in Rattenberg.
“Kisslinger since 1640
well-known, far beyond the region’s borders.
The name Kisslinger goes back to the years before 1640: this was the year when a son, Matthias, was born to Paul Kißling, who worked in the Hirschenwies glassworks near the Lower Austrian castle town of Wietra.
After World War II, there were already three glassworks in the small town and over the years, there were even more. The “Glass town of Rattenberg” was born and carried on the centuries-old legacy of working with glass in this area.
Mathias Kißling became master glassmaker at Heilbrunn - nowadays known as Styria - and founded a family dynasty, which has been devoted to the production and fashioning of glass throughout the generations, right up to the present day.
History of glass in Austria Tyrolean Glassworks 1626-1933 In 1626, Bohemian immigrants founded the Tyrolean glassworks at Kramsach, barely a stone’s throw from Rattenberg. For over 300 years, it was actually the only glassworks in the Tyrol and it laid the foundation for the production and fashioning of glass since the 17th Century, becoming one of the Tyrol’s most important branches of industry. In recent years, the production of high-quality glassware for export has increased.
Rattenberg In 1918, a glassworks was set up in Rattenberg, as a subsidiary of the Kramsach glassworks. The glassblowers, engravers and painters employed here were among the best in Europe and made the glassworks
Founding of the Company In 1903, Ferdinand Kißling was born as part of the ninth generation. During the years of the worldwide economic crisis, he made his way to Norway, where his great skills as a craftsmen brought him comissions, for example a punch set commissioned by Prince Olaf - an extraordinary masterpiece. In Rattenberg in 1946, Ferdinand Kißling ¿nally established the company we know today, which was then just a small decorating workshop with only one apprentice.
10th Generation With its high quality, ¿rst-class glassware, the company soon made a name for itself and expanded in 1965 when Fred and Elfriede Kisslinger took over the business, which at the time already had 20 employees. By concentrating exclusively on work of high quality and with great prudence and diligence, the two of them managed to expand the business even further. By the middle of the 1980s, they had 60 employees and there were over 1000m² of display space. They opened a branch in Innsbruck and exported to the whole of Europe, as well as overseas and many other
And then in 1998, the management of the company passed to the 11th generation - Hannes Kisslinger and his wife Silvia. He successfully led the company into the new millenium and developed two new important business sectors - “jewellery” and “glass art”. Today, the name “Kisslinger” represents the know-how handed down by 11 generations, whose craftsmanship in the production and fashioning of glass has matured to perfection.”
The difference between glass and crystal
Translation of the ingredients below that I photographed in the Kisslinger workshop
All types of crystal are a form of glass. They have a different material composition to regular glass and it is here that the de¿nition becomes tricky. The term crystal or lead crystal is governed across the globe but differs from country to country.
SiO2 - Silicon Dioxide, Quartz Sand K2CO3 - Potassium Carbonate Colour Additive (If needed)
The main point of difference is the lead content of glass. Wikipedia’s entrance on lead glass describes the properties as follows:
CaCO3 - Calcium Carbonate, Chalk
“The addition of lead oxide to glass raises its refractive index and lowers its working temperature and viscosity. The attractive optical properties of lead glass result from the high content of the heavy metal lead. The high atomic number of lead also raises the density of the material, since lead has a very high atomic weight of 207.2, versus 40.08 for calcium. The density of soda glass is 2.4 g/cm3 or below, while typical lead crystal has a density of around 3.1 g/cm3 and high-lead glass can be over 4.0 g/cm3 or even up to 5.9 g/cm3. The brilliance of lead crystal relies on the high refractive index caused by the lead content. Ordinary glass has a refractive index of n = 1.5, while the addition of lead produces a range up to 1.7. This heightened refractive index also correlates with increased dispersion, which measures the degree to which a medium separates light into its component spectra, as in a prism. Crystal cutting techniques exploit these properties to create a brilliant, sparkling effect as each cut facet reÀects and transmits light through the object. The high refractive index is useful for lens making, since a given focal length can be achieved with a thinner lens. However, the dispersion must be corrected by other components of the lens system if it is to be achromatic.”
Pelleted Mixture These are the constituents of glass as noted on their website:
Some examples of Kisslinger glass that I photographed in their workshop
Quartz Sand: This is ¿ne sand compromising small grains of quartz and it can be found all around the world.
Soda: This is used to lower the melting point and liquefy the glass. For example, it is produced by evaporation on the banks of salt seas.
Potash: This is an ash enriched with calcium carbonate and it is also used as a liquefying agent.
Lime: This is used as a stabiliser and gives the glass its hardness and brilliance.
Design Development 06 Glass-blowing process and equipment
Glass and crystal production hasnâ€™t changed much in the centuries since it began. The glass is still taken from a molten mixture and blown using a mouth pipe, shaped with wooden and metal tools and coloured with dyes or painted afterwards in almost the exact same way. In order to fully integrate the glass workshop into the heart of my proposal and have it working throughout the day I needed to do some research into the process, the equipment required and the spaces needed for the workshop to function efÂżciently whilst maintaining an openness to the wider community and the tourists. The equipment needed for glass blowing and the illustrations to match are taken from the london glass blowing website. Where I have lifted text I have placed it in quotation marks, this is all from <londonglassblowing. co.uk>
01. “Blowing Iron
01. “Pontil or Punty Iron
02. “Pipe Warmer
03. “Colour Kiln
04. “Glory hole
The end of the hollow blowing iron is dipped into the molten glass in the furnace and turned to wrap the glass onto the iron - a process called ‘gathering’.
The piece is transferred from the blowing iron to a solid rod called the punty, attached with a small gather to the base of the piece, effectively reversing it, so that the maker can reheat and work on its mouth.”
The working end of the blowing iron is preheated to a dull red heat, otherwise the glass may either not adhere or will chill too quickly, making it dif¿cult to blow the ¿rst bubble.”
One way to introduce colour is to start with solid colour bars. These are broken into chunks which are heated in a small kiln then attached to a blow pipe and melted in the glory hole.
A gas powered refractory chamber in which to reheat work in process. The glory hole is kept at 1200 degrees centigrade working temperature.”
Inside our furnace is a pot into which is loaded with enough clear glass batch (approx. 150 Kilos) for the next day’s work. The furnace is on permanently and is kept at a constant working temperature of 1100 degrees centigrade.”
The blowpipe must be rotated constantly to stop the glass ‘gather’ falling off the end. Blowers work with the Àow of the glass and use gravity to centre and shape the piece.”
Kiln When gathered over and blown, an internal skin is formed which colours the entire piece.”
06. “The Annealing Oven or Lehr
07. Shaping Tools
11. “The Àat mill or grinding wheel
If the piece were allowed to cool in the atmosphere, the rapid temperature drop would cause such stress that the glass would shatter within minutes. Annealing allows the glass to cool down gradually overnight.”
Tools used to Àatten, shape or cut glass as it is being worked.
The mixture of raw materials which is heated and melted in a furnace to make glass. Often pelletised for safer handling.”
The glassmaker’s chair or bench ¿tted with parallel arms. The blower sits between the arms and rolls the blowing iron along them while blocking or shaping the glass.”
A polished steel slab used to shape the glass. The ‘gather’ is centred and shaped as it is rolled from side to side on the marver. The marver has a chilling effect that creates a surface tension against which to blow.
The base of the piece can be ground Àat to ensure that it will stand and be stable. If required it may then be polished.”
Wet Paper Pad - Paper pads used to shape the glass with the hand. Wooden Block - Made of fruitwood and kept wet to stop cracking or burning. Steam from the wet tools helps lubricate the rotating glass. Paddle - Wood or metal graphite bat to shape the glass.
Colour can be introduced as colour chips or powder. These are laid on the marver and the hot glass is rolled over them. More ‘gathers’ of glass from the furnace may be added, as well as further layers of colour.”
Parrot Nose Shears - For gripping or cutting a trail of hot glass. Shears - For trimming the rim of a piece. Tweezers - For manipulating hot glass. Jack or Pucellas - These tools are used to shape or close the mouth or neck of a piece. Michael Clarke
Design Development 07 Capturing sunlight
However I decide to transport light around my building or into each space I need to develop a way to get light from the hillside. To do this I developed a grasshopper script utilising geco and ecotect to calculate solar radiation as a basis for the locations of arrays of mirrors and lenses all directing light towards my building.
<< Images 01. Site model with white thread illustrating the ray tracing from the mirrors arrayed across the hillside and my building, The building is represented by a single pin for clarity. Each mirror will in practice hit a different roof panel on the building or be directed to the central solar tower. 02. Another view of the site model 03. & 04. Solar irradiation levels across the hillside were calculated using geco and ecotect. The resultant total sunlight hours is shown above. I then culled the mesh to leave only faces with a certain number of daylight hours minimum. only the faces receiving the most amount of daylight would therefore have mirrors on them. The next check dimension defines whether or not a mesh face will be be eligible for a mirror. There needs to be a direct path between the mirror and the destination point without intersecting the terrain again. If this point holds true for all of the above then a mirror is placed. All the mirrors in the model are linked to the movement of the sun throughout the day and the year. The way that the mirror and lens combination works is as follows, The raytracing across the site will follow in a section to explain more clearly.
Collector Focal length = f1 Diameter = D1
Solar Image Diameter = DS
Acceptor Focal length = f1 Diameter = D1
Relay Focal length = f2 Diameter = D2
Re-Imager Focal length = f3 Diameter = D1
Final Design Proposal Finished drawings, images and diagrams to explain my final design proposal introduced with the abstract for my project.
Final Project Abstract ‘Tired of Life in the Shadows’ - The ‘Glass Town’ of Tirol
“There it is, the dark mountain. For a quarter of our year it causes sadness in this place. We feel depressed and in shadow. This mountain steals our light.” The town of Rattenberg in Tirol, Austria gets no sunlight from about mid-November to mid-February due to the large mountain towering over 300m above the historic centre. The residents are worried about an ever-decreasing population as the younger families move out citing the lack-of daylight as the main reason. As a result, there are now more jobs in Rattenberg than citizens with many people working in the town commuting from the other side of the valley. “The permanent population has fallen by 10 per cent in recent years with people moving to neighbouring communes in search of the sun. As a result, many of the palatial apartments on the upper floors of the village’s buildings lie empty. At present there are 5,000 square metres (1.25 acres) of vacant accommodation, equivalent to 50 homes.” There is a certain irony that a town known for creating glass and crystal gets no light. It is estimated that there are around 60 other communities in Tirol alone that suffer from similar lack of light issues due to neighbouring mountains. The case of Rattenberg has implications for many communities globally. It is an established line of research looking at the connections between daylight and our pyschological health and the statistics for Rattenberg (as many as 1 in 5 citizens suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder) prove this. There is one element of all biological systems that help to regulate the health of that system. This is known as the Circadian Rhythm otherwise known as the sleep wake cycle or the internal body clock. It is responsible for maintaining the bodies health, controlling the release of hormones and sleep patterns and is influenced by the surrounding environment. For example, the hormone melatonin helps to induce sleep however it is not released during the day as the stimulus of sunlight inhibits it. Light is not the only influence on the circadian clock: temperature, eating times, timezones, illnesses and pregnancy can all have an effect. The reason so much research is currently looking into the circadian clock is that it can have a huge impact on everyday life. It is responsible for many sleep disorders, depression including Seasonal Affective Disorder and even obesity due to it’s effects on the bodies metabolism. Many companies are currently looking at cell metabolism and the impact of light levels as a ‘treatment’ for obesity. As architects we have an influence on the built environment and a responsibility to provide environments both fit for purpose and healthy, enjoyable spaces. Yet there are countless examples of contemporary, commercially driven projects that rely on electric lighting throughout the day. “Architects in planning rooms today have forgotten their faith in natural light. Depending on the touch of a finger to a switch, they are satisfied with static light and forget the endlessly changing qualities of natural light, in which a room is a different room every second of the day.” Louis Kahn My proposal sits on the edge of the historic centre of Rattenberg. Utilising mirrors and lenses across the mountain the proposal creates a series of experiences where direct light and variable natural lighting are key. It aims to provide additional public amenity space bathed in sunlight during the winter months that can help to arrest the mass exodus of the town’s population. At the same time the building is a showcase of the town. Its siting provides a better link between the historic centre and the railway and coach park where tourists enter the town and makes use of the local crystal industry in the architecture proposed. At the heart of the building a glass blowing workshop and furnaces directly connect tourists and residents alike with the town’s heritage and new future. The ‘glass building’ of the ‘glass town’ will become a tourist destination in its own right - to sit in sunlight where there is shadow.
External Visualisation 01_Light from the mountain
Internal Visualisation_Glassblowing workshop and gallery