Domesticating Daylight via Atria

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), Famagusta, T.R. North Cyprus

2 Department of Architecture, Jolfa Interntional Branch, Islamic Azad University, Jolfa, Iran


Atrium is a semi-open space area that is located within a building. It usually includes a large space that was a distinctive part of ancient Roman dwellings are with providing natural daylight and organic ventilation to the interior spaces are its basic functions. In other word it is a semi-pubic area such as; large opening or courtyard since 2000 years ago. After modernity of architecture, they have some large windows and/or a glazed roof. In resent centuries of development, benefits of atrium can be identified in environmental, economic and architectural aspects. As it mentioned, atrium is being used in the large-scale building such as; complexes, retail shopping malls and large office. Some of the valuable local buildings which include atrium are reviewed to render some clear picture on the design and its application of the feature building emphasizing on the solar renewable energy. In this paper, four roles of atria are presented in urban, architecture, space and climate. However, the atrium provides: lighting, ventilation, heating, cooling into the interior spaces and also in the other hand, causes an integration and correlation in space between inside and outside of building, and also between building and city. Some examples such as; the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, Royal Library of Copenhagen and some Roman atrium are shown in this paper. Finally, availability of daylight via atria considered in four models and alternatives after defining the rate of light penetration.