International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture 2018


Daylight in architecture is an ever-relevant topic. Daylight has been used for centuries as the primary source of light for the interior and architects have always been interested in and fascinated by daylight; yet daylighting can be a difficult discipline to approach, understand and master.

Daylighting describes the controlled use of natural light in and around buildings. It is the practice of placing windows, or other transparent media and reflective surfaces, so that natural light provides effective internal illumination during the day. Successful daylighting requires design considerations at all stages of the building design process, from site planning to architectural, interior and lighting design.

Today buildings are major energy consumers; strategies for reducing energy use and carbon emissions are therefore called for, such as using sunlight as a source of energy and light. Much focus on sustainable buildings has been on energy aspects. However, health is the most precious resource we have, and energy is only one aspect of sustainability. A primary goal for sustainability should be to sustain human life on Earth.

A good indoor climate, with generous daylight levels and provision of fresh air from outside, is the key to making homes, offices, kindergartens and schools healthy places to live and work in. We spend an excessive amount of time inside buildings – and the air that we breathe and the amount of daylight we are exposed to have a great impact on our health and well-being and thereby the quality of our lives. Therefore, we need to consider the right daylighting strategies and solutions for our buildings.

The award

The International VELUX Award 2018 for Students of Architecture wants to encourage and challenge students of architecture to explore the theme of daylight – and to create a deeper understanding of this specific and ever-relevant source of energy, light and life.

The award celebrates and promotes excellence in completed study works. These works can be made as works complying with the prize scope of rethinking the values of conscious daylighting design with focus on people’s health in living and working environments.

The award encourages projects that celebrate the privilege of being a student; with curiosity and with the willingness to think “out of the box” – as well as consider the social, sociological and environmental dimension of light.

The award wants to acknowledge not only the students but their teachers as well. Therefore, teachers of the projects are also awarded.

Type of award and categories

The award is an open ideas competition and it is organised globally in two phases: in the first phase, regional prizes will be awarded to projects from the UIA member regions 1) Western Europe, 2) Eastern Europe and the Middle East, 3) the Americas, 4) Asia+ Oceania and 5) Africa. In the second phase, prizes will be awarded to overall winners.

The award is not restricted to the use of VELUX products. Innovative thinking and use of specific VELUX components as daylight providers will however be within the scope of the award and the jury will be allowed to give special prizes to the best projects.

Learn more

See the full competition and registration information at