Design showcase: Top five projects that master the use of natural light

by | 02 Feb 2022 | Design

In our latest TOPHOTELDESIGN collaboration, we examine five properties whose designers have cleverly used sunshine to add a whole new dimension to the guest experience.

The great Louise Kahn once said: “Architecture appears for the first time when sunlight hits a wall.”

Shining a light on great design

Although an architectural project comes to life with palpable materials, it is also defined by intangible qualities like natural light that gives dynamism, richness and liveliness. The interaction of light and shadow transforms interiors and affects their perception, determining the user’s spatial experience.

The clever design of natural light can be energising or calming, adding a sense of intimacy or drama to the place. It can render a radical change in interior spaces. Natural light makes materials and textures show themselves deeper, and true colours shine, bringing out their true essence.

Today, we’ve selected five projects that create remarkable atmospheres by manipulating sunlight in different ways.

Hoshinoya Tokyo with its continued façade of a patterned and translucent double skin gives a sense of calm and magic.

Mason Pattaya repeats the floor-to-ceiling vertical cut on private villas to let sun and nature penetrate in a dramatic and beautiful way.

Patina Maldives, Fari Islands creates a sanctuary, diffusing the natural light through the ceiling directly to the water mirror, transforming the spa into an oasis.

W Shanghai – The Bund comes to revolutionise the concept using coloured glass that transforms the pool into a vibrant mass of water.

And Casa Fantini creates a more drastic transition between sun and shadow, painting the space like a black-and-white game.

Hoshinoya Tokyo

by Azuma Architect & Associates

Imagery: © Shinsuke Matsukawa


Mason Pattaya

Pattaya, Thailand
by VaSLab Architecture


Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

The Maldives
by Studio MK27
Supplied by Spa Supply Solutions

Imagery: © Georg Roske


W Shanghai – The Bund

by GA Group – London
Supplied by TUUCI, Duravit and Andy Mannhart

Imagery: © Ralf Tooten


Casa Fantini

Pella, Italy
by Lissoni & Partners

Click here to find more inspiring hotel designs with natural light on TOPHOTELDESIGN.

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