Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara from Ireland’s Grafton Architects have won the 2022 Daylight Award for architecture. Anna Wirz-Justice, a researcher at the University of Basel, took the research award.
The Daylight Award honours the use of light in design and research and is run by philanthropic foundations Villum Fonden, Velux Fonden and Velux Stiftung. Awards are worth €100,000.
The jury praised Farrell and McNamara for “mastering” the use of daylight over their careers.
The jury noted the firm’s “thick, deep buildings” that use light to create comfortable spaces to work, to read and inhabit.
Neurobiologist Anna Wirz-Justice won the Daylight Award for her research into abnormal light exposure, circadian rhythm disruption and the impact this has on mental health.
Wirz-Justice investigates how light acts as a biological stimulus, including the importance of when we see it, how long we see it for, and its intensity and wavelength.
Her light therapy has been used to treat seasonal affective disorder, non-seasonal depression, borderline personality disorder and dementia.
The Daylight Award’s jury, said: “The laureates exemplify common themes. Not only do they represent international excellence in daylight research and practice, but they also embody a generous and humanistic spirit regarding the celebration of daylight.
“The contribution of daylight to enhance quality of life – even to celebrate life – is an intrinsic quality of their work. It is remarkable how they have applied this humanistic approach with a depth of knowledge and breadth of intentions that belies their humble and detached vision of their works’ importance.”