We're back for 2020!

The International VELUX Award is a biennial competition for students of architecture. We challenge students from all over the world to work with daylight as an ever relevant source of light, life and joy.

The award runs every second year and it is one of the most important global student competitions of its kind. The International VELUX Award 2020 is launching now! Prepare your project team, connect with your teacher and get ready for registration in September 2019.

Reaching the Light

Regional Winner Western Europe - Daylight in Buildings

Students: Joana Robalo, João Umbelino, Ana Ázar, António Lopes, Miguel Pedro
Teacher: João Soares
School: Universidade de Évora
Country: Portugal

The Alentejo, in the centre-south region of Portugal, is characterised by cold winters and excessively hot summers. This has shaped a particularly dense architecture with thick walls, confined spaces and small windows to control the temperature inside the houses. Over time, architectural elements like the 'Alentejo chimney' have been blocked, leaving the already dark, interior spaces with very little ventilation and triggering problems with humidity. To bring more natural light and quality to these spaces, the project suggests making the chimneys functional again and giving them a new purpose – to act as light channels.

The jury was intrigued by the simple idea and by its strong presentation. The project takes its starting point in a realistic situation and a real challenge, and subsequently suggests a solution that seems realisable as a very simple intervention. The solution for improving natural ventilation and introducing reflected light considers the hot summers and refers to the special light of Alentejo. The project is beautifully illustrated and very poetic in its description, thanks to the work of the Portuguese photographer Artur Pastor. For the jury, it is a clear winner in the category for Western Europe.