The International VELUX Award is a competition for students of architecture that runs every second year. We challenge students from all over the world to work with daylight as an ever relevant source of light, life and joy. The award is one of the most important global student competitions of its kind.

Submission is now closed. The jury will review the projects in July and the regional winners will be announced in August.

Ways Into the Light - Faculty Building in Odense

An entire university under one roof. This was the idea that guided architects Krohn & Hartvig Rasmussen in the 1970s when they created the campus of the University of Southern Denmark on the outskirts of Odense.

Bygningsstyrelsen, Valby, DK
Technical Faculty of SDU, Odense, DK
C.F. Møller, Copenhagen/Aarhus, DK
Campusvej 55, Odense, DK

The new Technical Faculty building, designed by C.F. Møller at the edge of the campus 40 years later, is based on similar principles. Measuring 110 × 65 metres – the size of a football pitch − the three-storey building accommodates three institutes under its roof. The challenge for the architects was to bring daylight into this enormous structure. They therefore divided the interior into four independent edifices that share the same roof but are separated from each other by a network of streets, pathways and squares. Student life takes place on these streets and on the large, copperclad open staircase in the middle of the building. The bridges and galleries on the upper floors not only connect the different institutes to each other but also serve as important meeting points for informal chats.

Here, 700 square metres of modular skylights resting on prefabricated concrete roof girders make for a light and lively atmosphere. On the remaining roof surfaces, 750 square metres of solar modules were installed. The 3,000 students and 300 employees also profit from the natural light in the laboratories, offices and group workrooms of the individual buildings. Thanks to their large glass surfaces, the rooms offer a generous and clear view of the interior streets and the outside areas, i.e. the rest of the campus. On the upper floors, an ornamental feature consisting of white fibre-reinforced concrete elements, with 15,000 apertures of different sizes, encloses the entire building and offers protection against the sun. This not only provides shade but also frames a variety of different views of the university campus and the forested area neighbouring the faculty on its east and south sides.

This article is featured in D/A magazine #26, for more information visit

By Photography: Adam Mørk and Daniel Blaufuks | Collages and handwritten notes: Daniel Blaufuks