Building shadows: Courtyards and daylight in hot-arid regions with special reference to Iraq
In recent years, a positivistic approach in daylighting studies seems to have gained a tremendous momentum. Architects who favor this approach tend to downplay the fact that quality of light cannot by easily described in scientific terms. In daylighting situations, footcandle levels are abstract figures quite apart from the phenomenal qualities of light. In the design of courtyards, the quantity of light is not as important as its quality.
Architecture should be experienced emotionally through the impact of variation in light and shadow. Any daylight study which does not respond to the effect of shadow fails to address the real subject matter in a comprehensive way. Architecture is a world of light that was brought about by means of shadow.
A realization of this design concept is evident in buildings of hot-arid regions and particularly in the work of Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, Louis Kahn, and Rifat Chaderji. While the focus of the dissertation is on building shadows in courtyard buildings in the region of Iraq, the discussion of the work of the above mentioned architects is used to highlight the various means they had used in manipulating the visual as well as the thermal effects of shadows.