Architect Alberto Campo Baeza and Chronobiology Professor Till Roenneberg Receive the Daylight Award 2024

In Copenhagen, during the 2024 UNESCO International Day of Light, The Daylight Award has announced Spanish architect and professor Alberto Campo Baeza as the laureate for the architecture category and German professor of chronobiology Till Roenneberg for his scientific research regarding the impact of daylight. The two categories create an interdisciplinary bridge between fields, grounding architectural thinking with high-level research. The two winners have been commended for scientific investigations into issues like circadian rhythms and dependencies in the case of Professor Roenneberg, and the poetic qualities obtained through the use of daylight in Alberto Campo Baeza’s architectural works.

For the architectural category, the award aims to recognize those architects who are exploring the sensory, aesthetic, and emotional qualities of daylight in architectural spaces. Alberto Campo Baeza’s works span a multitude of purposes and programs, from museums such as Andalusia’s Museum of Memory and the recently completed Robert Olnick Pavilion of the Magazzino Museum in New York to sports halls like the one designed for Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid, the renown Caja Granada Savings Bank, in addition to office buildings, or private residences.

Architect Alberto Campo Baeza and Chronobiology Professor Till Roenneberg Receive the Daylight Award 2024 - Image 21 of 26

Almost always rendered in white, Campo Baeza’s buildings showcase a restrained palette of shapes and materials, along with carefully subtle details. Based on simple, rectangular, and repetitive structures, the spaces are thus free from superfluous elements, allowing them to maximize the presence and impact of natural light. The white surfaces also contribute to the feeling of airiness, encouraging a spiritual reflection irrespective of the program. Countering the lightness of many of his works, projects like the Caja Granada Savings Bank display massive cave-like spaces, where light entering via skylights only contributes to the monumentality of the spaces.


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Campo Baeza’s buildings appear to attract daylight on their white surfaces and heighten the presence and healing power of natural light. Light seems to dwell in his white courtyards and interiors, which usually also project a sense of reduced gravity because of the absence of materiality. This utter reduction creates a spiritual or confessional air to his buildings, regardless of their functions. – Jury Reasoning

Architect Alberto Campo Baeza and Chronobiology Professor Till Roenneberg Receive the Daylight Award 2024 - Image 4 of 26

Recognized for his scientific research into the field of chronotypes and the connections between natural illumination and human health, well-being, and performance, Professor Till Roenneberg is Emeritus Professor of Chronobiology at the Institute of Medical Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich, Germany. He is recognized for having established several key concepts related to light and circadian rhythms, including the concept of chronotypes, a term referring to the relationship between the internal circadian clock and the natural daylight-dark cycle, and the concept of “social jetlag,” referring to discrepancies between the rhythm dictated by biology and those imposed by societal norms. His fundamental research has been applied to multiple branches of society, spanning medicine, public policy, and architecture.

Architect Alberto Campo Baeza and Chronobiology Professor Till Roenneberg Receive the Daylight Award 2024 - Image 13 of 26

After establishing key concepts related to light and circadian rhythms, Roenneberg transitioned to human and social sciences with a focus on daylight. Roenneberg used his experience in experimental bench-based chronobiology and in using big data to address research questions that focus on human daily behavior in real life. […] A key observation by Roenneberg is the demonstration that human clocks are profoundly influenced by the natural light/dark cycle, despite increasing urbanization. . – Jury Reasoning

Architect Alberto Campo Baeza and Chronobiology Professor Till Roenneberg Receive the Daylight Award 2024 - Image 25 of 26

This year’s laureates were selected by a cross-disciplinary jury consisting of Finish architect and writer, Juhani Pallasmaa (jury chair), British professor of circadian neuroscience Russell Foster, Danish architect and creative director Dorte Mandrup, Dutch professor of environmental psychology Yvonne de Kort, Swiss professor of pharmaceutical chemistry Gerd Folkers, Dutch architectural photographer lwan Baan and American director of the Institute of Economic Botany Michael Balick.

Architect Alberto Campo Baeza and Chronobiology Professor Till Roenneberg Receive the Daylight Award 2024 - Image 9 of 26

With the aim of honoring and supporting the scientific research and exploration of daylight in architecture, the Daylight Award, established by the philanthropic foundations VILLUM FONDEN, VELUX FONDEN, and VELUX STIFTUNG, is conferred biennially in two categories: The Daylight Award for Research and The Daylight Award for Architecture. A particular emphasis of the award is the interplay between theory and practice, linking different disciplines to create a holistic understanding of the positive effects of daylight. The previous winners of the award are Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects for the architecture category, and Anna Wirz-Justice for her research into human circadian rhythms and sleep regulated by light.

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