Pakila Church of the Good Shepherd Church. Minimalistic and high organ are on the left. Instead of an altarpiece, behind the altar is a white wall with various recesses from which natural light flows in. The church hall is decorated with golden clusters of lamps hung at different heights.
Church of the Good Shepherd (Juha Leiviskä, 2003) in Helsinki. photo: Arno de la Chapelle / Helander Leiviskä Architects

Academic Juha Leiviskä receives the international Daylight Award 2020 for Daylight in Architecture

Academic Juha Leiviskä is laureate of the important international award, which honours and supports daylight research and daylight in architecture, for the benefit of human health, well-being and the environment. 

An international jury of architects has selected Academic and architect Juha Leiviskä as laureate of The Daylight Award in Architecture. The Daylight Award is given every second year in two categories; Daylight Research and Daylight in Architecture.

The research award went to Professor Russell Foster. Exceptionally in 2020, on the 40th anniversary of the first Daylight Award given to Jørn Utzon, a third award for Lifetime Achievement is given to Henry Plummer. The award places specific emphasis on the interrelation between theory and practice.

Juha Leiviskä is one of the most significant contemporary architects in Finland. In his architecture, he demonstrates a unique ability to make daylight an integral part of his buildings, in a way that combines emotional delight, functional appropriateness, and a delicate yet wonderful presence of light as part of one’s spatial experience. In the current context of environmental values of architecture and the use of natural resources to create a natural and sustainable comfort, the work of Leiviskä on daylight is particularly relevant today.

The Daylight Award for Daylight in Architecture is awarded to one or more architects or other professionals who have distinguished themselves by realising architecture or creating urban environments that showcase unique use of daylight. Particular emphasis will be put on architecture that considers the overall quality of life, its impact on human health, well-being and performance, and its value to society.

The Daylight Award is presented by the non-profit, private charitable foundations, Villum Fonden, Velux Fonden and Velux Stiftung. The foundations support a wide range of non-profit purposes, in scientific, social, cultural and environmental projects. The awards are personal prizes, each to the sum of €100,000.

Last year, on the occasion of Open House Helsinki 2019, Archinfo Finland produced a 25-minute documentary film on Juha Leiviskä, Virtuoso of Light. On the video, Leiviskä talks about his architectural thinking and presents some of his key projects. According to Leiviskä, daylight is the most important building material: “Buildings are in a way instruments for light to play.”

Juha Leiviskä – Virtuoso of Light was conceived and produced by Miina Jutila / Archinfo Finland and filmed and edited by Petteri Kari / Comkari.