International Union of Architects

The Daylight Award


professional honourable prize


This year, the International Union of Architects is proud to endorse the Daylight Award, a biennial prize that honours and supports daylight research and daylight in architecture, for the benefit of human health, well-being and the environment. 

For more information on the Daylight Award, please see its YouTube channel

Photo: 2018 edition laureates Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi and American researcher Greg Ward 







The award is organised by the non-profit, private charitable foundations, VILLUM FONDEN, VELUX FONDEN and VELUX STIFTUNG, established by Villum Kann Rasmussen. Previous winners of daylight prizes awarded by the three foundations include Jorn Utzon (1980), Henning Larsen (1987), Bob Gysin (2007), Richard Perez (2008), Peter Zumthor (2010), James Carpenter (2010), Lacaton & Vassal (2011), Gigon & Guyer (2012) and SANAA (2014). 

The Daylight Award is bestowed in two categories: Daylight Research and Daylight in Architecture. 

Daylight in Architecture is awarded to an architect or architectural team, whose work “considers the overall quality of life, its impact on human health, well-being and performance, and its value to society”. Daylight Research recognises “individuals or smaller groups of scientists who have distinguished themselves as outstanding contributors to internationally recognised daylight research”.

In 2018, the prize recognized architect Hiroshi Sambuichi, for his works balancing nature and architecture, and researcher Greg Ward, for his software simulation programme, Radiance.

Nominations from fellow architects and researchers are accepted, internationally, from experts in diverse fields who have a knowledge of and interest in advancing outstanding daylight research and unique use of daylight in architecture. Past laureates, professional organisations, architects, researchers and other professionals possessing expertise and interest in the field of daylight research and daylight in architecture are especially encouraged to nominate candidates. 

Additionally, the Special Advisor accepts individual nominations from architects, researchers and other professionals for consideration by the jury for the Daylight Award. Self nominations will not be accepted.

Please send an email to the Special Advisor with the nominee’s name and contact information: 

Nominations that do not result in the award are automatically carried over to the following year. 




Nominations will be accepted until 1 November 2019. 

The Jury will meet early in 2020 to evaluate the nominations. 

Laureates will be announced on the UN/UNESCO `International Day of Light´, 16 May 2020. 


For more information, please visit The Daylight Award site.





VELUX Foundations


The Award is bestowed in two categories: Daylight Research and Daylight in Architecture, each of which carries a financial compensation of €100,000. 


Marilyne Andersen (Switzerland) - Professor of Sustainable Construction Technologies at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL)  

Aki Kawasaki (Switzerland) – Associate professor of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Ophthalmic Hospital Jules Gonin, Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Anne Lacaton (France) – Principal of Lacaton & Vassal Architectes, based in Paris, France 

Juhani Pallasmaa (Finland) – architect, writer and teacher

James Carpenter (USA) - Founder of the cross-disciplinary design firm James Carpenter Design Associates 

Koen Steemers (United Kingdom) – Professor of Sustainable Design, The Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom 



  • 01 Nov 2019
    Submission deadline
  • 16 May 2020