ANARCHITECT, an award-winning architecture firm founded by Jonathan Ashmore, unveiled its Circadian Light Synthesis installation at 2018’s Dubai Design Week. The Dubai- and London-based practice wanted to highlight the various ways sunlight can dictate the human body’s natural clock through its different positions, temperatures, and amount of light given off as well as our relationship with the moon.
“Circadian Light Synthesis harnessed the intense sunlight as well as moonlight conditions at its location, while providing a recognizable welcoming, recharging, explorative and contemplative area for the Dubai Design Week visitors,” Ashmore said.
ANARCHITECT worked with Delta Light, Matteo Brioni, Abanos, and Prime Metal Industries (PMI) to develop the installation, which comprises two interconnected elements. The southern Exposed Pavilion was open-sided with a seating area for visitors, its wall and roof apertures in line with a path that harnessed the intense light of the sun at midday, afternoon, and sunset to cast specific shadows. The northern Enclosed Pavilion was mostly closed off and lit with Delta Light’s artificial sun.
The two pavilions were clad in Matteo Brioni’s TerraPlus Cammeo clay, a mixture of raw earth, mineral binders, and resinous polymers. This material gave the installation greater resistance to abrasion and water without losing its permeability. The non-fading material also allowed for the sun to highlight its unique natural texture.
“Light stimulates us and influences our moods and activity levels. Our physiological response to light depends on its characteristics such as colour spectrum, intensity and timing. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of our brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. A huge array of biological processes within the human body, and indeed in all forms of life on Earth, cycle according to a 24-hour clock. Circadian rhythm allows our body to assign functions based on the time of day, and whether you are asleep or awake.” commented Danilo Mandelli.
Visitors were also able to photograph the framed Burj Khalifa view between the two separate pavilions of Circadian Rhythm. This provided a different opportunity for capturing light play created by shadows cast during both day and night.