Daylighting and Electrical Light Integration

Light has been always an infinite source of inspiration for me, so the program I am in now constantly stimulates me. I am fascinated by the possibilities of lighting to change the space and it’s endless spiritual and romantic components. On the top of it Lighting has enormous influence on people health and phase.

I met Yuliya Savelyeva  around a year ago, during  a project for Dukan Diet. She was designing their offices in New York City; the end project had a great balance of sophistication, office space environment and custom made pieces. It surprised me that she knew quit a few things about  Romania  and that she was so young. Not that old is a must, but you don`t see everyday down to earth people at a young age. Like Yuliya. So I like her… and I also liked her sense of fashion!  I cannot say we are best friends, but I respect her dedication and passion for design. And of course is great meeting people who are responsible and care about their projects.

I was surprised to hear that she`s back to school, but in the same time I said to myself that it was a great opportunity to feature a really talented professional, with a multi-disciplinary approach. This article will feature one of her lighting projects; a new field for our blog,  with useful information for the reader.


Yuliya Savelyeva is a currently graduate student at Parsons, The New School of Design. Her program consists of two degrees: MFA Lighting Design and M.Arch. She also has a bachelor degree in design from Samara’s State University of Architecture. Her experience involves also projects in decorating and interior design, through great collaborations with DMDesign LLC, Dukan Diet, Renfro Design Group and Blip Tv. She also has a passion for photography and graphic design.

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What was the project assignment?

Using her own words, Yuliya motivates the birth of this project:

In my second semester the studio class was dedicated to Daylighting and Electrical Light Integration. We were to design comfortable and energy efficient building that complies with NYC codes and ASHRAE requirements, and uses the maximum potential of daylight. There were 2 sites to choose from in order to design the five-story Scholars Library.

My partner, Jacinda Ross and I chose the site on the corner of 14th street and University place, that has three open facades: North, East and South. First we conducted a site climate and sun studies to figure out how much daylight we can actually get in our building and what are the problems of the site. We found out  this way the worst case scenario for our future building and other challenges we might encounter.

Using our analysis and the given program for the library we did a lot of study models, which lead us for our overall strategy to capture reflected light on a big and small scale. Two cuts in the building take advantage of all noon sun. First one, on the north facade, embraces a lot of reflected light from the building in front of it, which has a high reflective facade material.  Second cut creates a new potential for reflected warm diffuse light that is perfect for studying in the library. The  twisting of the building allowed us to protect from the direct sun using shading book stacks ,  and in the same time to open up study areas for more sunlight.

We wanted people who came to work in the library to have a choice about the environment they were studying in. We envisioned an inhabitable facade that popped out of the building into the daylight. By creating apertures on the sides of these pop outs, not only did we block direct sun, we also created the possibility of letting in reflected side lighting for more comfortable workspaces. There are pop outs on all 3 of the exposed facades, which are designed differently for their varying sun exposures. In each type there are personal choices and inherent duality built in. Our analysis also showed us that our facade helped the building to save about 0.25 cents per each square foot on cooling system.


How did you  build the project?

Building is always tricky. For Yuliya and her partner, it implied hard work and overcoming some drawbacks:

In order to test our design we created a model in 3/8” scale, which was quite massive. We took it outside on Union Square (our site) to take measurements and photos. The wind was blowing, the sun was hiding behind clouds, people were asking flattering questions, but we managed to finish completely what we planned to do.

One of the most challenging issues was the balance of the possibility of an amazing view towards Union Square and in the same time very low angle direct sun coming in from the East. After trying out different strategies we created vertical fins to help block some of the radiant light with combination of automatic shading devices. In the same time we were developing Electrical Lighting concept for the library with control zones and sensors. Mimicking the day-lighting concept electrical layout created more private and enclosed atmosphere in the book stack areas and bright and social in the common study areas. Below there are two renderings that show comparison of daylight and night light scheme in the stack area of the library.


As a writer I have the chance to learn interesting stuff about subjects and people my posts feature. Particular, in this case I have touched the lighting field from a different angle. Yuliya was very kind to invite us to learn more about her projects and the lighting field: 

It was a very interesting and challenging project that taught us a lot. I have not mentioned even one third of the work that has been done, so if you are interested in daylight or/and electrical lighting or/and in lighting in general don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

You can connect with Yuliya Savelyeva  through her website, blog, LinkedIn profile and email:


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