A comparative analysis of luminous ambience designed for equivalent functions

The first part of this work focused on the elicitation of links between qualitative and quantitative approaches for luminous ambience in daylighting. We measured luminance and illuminance levels on glazed and opaque surfaces in interior spaces. We analysed and compared these measures and interpretations to impressions felt by subjects in the spaces, or to intentions expressed by the architect during the design of the project when available. This comparison has proved itself very meaningful and shows that many relations between the intuitive approach and quantitative measured data may be established.

In the second part, we performed a comparative analysis between qualitative and quantitative data for luminous ambience designed for equivalent functions. It helped us better define the meaning of the qualitative terms used by subjects. It also helped us enrich the quantitative point of view through the definition of new notions such as the rhythm of repetition of contrast levels or the size of surfaces having a particular level of luminance. This work can also be used to enrich the language on luminous ambience and be of great help on the classification of luminous ambience. We use this comparative approach in teaching, in our school of architecture.

Beyond quantitative data, our method allows to perform an analysis closer to architects’ needs and expressed in his language. This link between qualitative and quantitative allows to fill the gap between scientific technique and architectural design. It may be included in RADIANCE, to provide results related to architects’ intentions.

A comparative analysis of luminous ambience designed for equivalent functions