Nordic Achitecture and Light

Scandinavian countries are considered among the happiest countries in the world. But how do people not get depressed in such lands that hardly ever get sunlight? One of my favourite movies Medianeras (2011, directed by Gustavo Taretto) had strong “accusations” to architects about the way they effect people’s lives.


So maybe one of the reasons Scandinavians stay happy is actually architecture.

“For me, light is the most ecstatic architectural experience there is, and in many ways the best architecture is a preparation for the experience of light,” Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa once wrote.

I’m very interested in Nordic countries and their culture. So of course their understanding of architecture interests me as well. I really like their common naturalist and humanist approaches; making use of wood, glass, bricks and how the constructs fit in the context. The other thing I’ve yet been familiar with about Nordic architecture is the architects’ mastership in handling daylight. And this case is mostly seen in Nordic churches. One of the most famous Scandinavian architects, Alvar Aalto was also working with the pulse of nature with patterns of light or the transiency of dramatic light and shadow as well as the pure white volumes.

Aalto’s approach to art and architecture is that even the least important elements should be designed and the end result should be a whole.


It really excites me that a place with such little light can be illumunated, well, more than my bedroom which is supposed to be located in a sunny country.

I got carried away since it came to Scandinavian culture so finally here are some examples of quite interesting luminous buildings of modern scandinavia:

Nordic Light: Modern Scandinavian Achitecture, Henry Plummer, Thames & Hudson USA, 2014



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