1st Edition

Visual Delight in Architecture Daylight, Vision, and View

By Lisa Heschong Copyright 2021
    412 Pages 40 Color & 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    412 Pages 40 Color & 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    412 Pages 40 Color & 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Visual Delight in Architecture examines the many ways that our lives are enriched by the presence of natural daylight and window views within our buildings. It makes a compelling case that daily exposure to the rhythms of daylight is essential to our health and well-being, tied to the very genetic foundations of our physiology and cognitive function. It describes all the subtlety, beauty, and pleasures of well-daylit spaces and attractive window views, and explains how these are woven into the fabric of both our everyday sensory experience and enduring cultural perspectives.

    All types of environmental designers, along with anyone interested in human health and well- being, will fi nd new insights offered by Visual Delight in Architecture. The book is both accessible and provocative, full of personal stories and persuasive research, helping designers to gain a deeper understanding of the scientific basis of their designs, scientists to better grasp the real-world implications of their work, and everyone to more fully appreciate the role of windows in their lives.


    Part 1: Prediction

    1. Planetary Rhythms

    2. Chronobiology and Human Health

    3. The Evolving and Aging Eye

    4. The Predictive Brain

    5. Attention and Insight

    Part 2: Perception

    6. Learning to See

    7. Patterns of Daylight Illumination

    8. Designing with Daylight

    9. Elements of View

    Part 3: Motivation

    10. Daylighting Education

    11. Selling Daylight

    12. Enduring Urban Forms

    13. The Value of View

    14. Working with Daylight

    15. Healing Daylight

    Part 4: Meaning

    16. Iconic Daylight and Views

    17. Visions of Nature

    18. Biophilia and Technophilia

    19. Synthesis and Next Steps



    List of Illustrations

    Notes and References



    About the Author


    Lisa Heschong is an architect and founding principal of the Heschong Mahone Group (HMG), a building sciences consulting firm, where she led groundbreaking research showing a relationship between daylight and student test scores, retail sales, and office worker performance. Heschong is the author of the classic Thermal Delight in Architecture, along with many technical publications about daylighting and energy effi ciency in buildings. A graduate of UC Berkeley and MIT, she is a Fellow of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), and received the ARCC 2012 Haecker Award for Architectural Research. Heschong lives in Santa Cruz, California, with her husband, two horses, and a sailboat, where she never tires of watching the changing colors of the surrounding ocean and sky.

    "We need this book now more than ever because we spend more time indoors now than at any point in human history. With Visual Delight in Architecture, Heschong redirects our gaze and reimagines what it means to create truly humane indoor environments. Every person desires a view to the outdoors to satiate their appetite for light. This is a fundamental human need and its provision should be a basic human right…"  

    Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, PhD, Director, Institute for Health in the Built Environment; Professor of Architecture, University of Oregon

    "Architects, and anyone, interested in creating a more humanitarian world need to read this book, immediately!  As the preeminent architect who demonstrated how daylit buildings can improve learning, working and selling, Lisa Heschong brings us up to date with added attention to views. Skillfully synthesizing research, literature, and design imperatives, Heschong summarizes why both daylight and views are needed in our buildings to better serve all building occupants, our society, and the future of the planet."

    Margo Jones, FAIA, NCARB, LEED-AP, Founding Partner, Jones Whitsett Architects, Massachusetts

    "There is so much more to Visual Delight in Architecture than seeing – from rhythm to health to cognition to community to beauty to survival – Lisa Heschong brings another brilliant treatise to life, for all of us who design and inhabit architecture."

    Vivian Loftness, FAIA, Paul Mellon Chairholder and University Professor in Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University

    "Now, three generations after my architect father Richard Neutra started to write pleas for researched responsible design, architect and researcher Lisa Heschong is showing us how far we have come and how far we have to go in understanding the deep biological impact of what reaches us through our eyes."

    Dr. Raymond Neutra, Epidemiologist, Past President of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Chair of the Richard Neutra Foundation, Past (Associate and Assistant) Professor of Public Health, UCLA and Harvard University

    “Reading Visual Delight is like experiencing Heschong sharing stories around a campfire. The book imbues the next generation of solarpunks with her knowledge while regaling lay readers with the sublime phenomena of our universal experience of the world through our visual system…. It is these contemplative ponderings that truly elevate the book.”

    Dan Weissman, AIA, MIES, Assoc. IALD, Senior Associate and Director of Lam Labs at the Cambridge, Mass.–based lighting design firm Lam Partners

    "Visual Delight in Architecture by Lisa Heschong (‎Routledge, April 2021, 398 pp.) examines the many ways in which the time we spend indoors is enriched by daylight and window views. The book makes the case that daily exposure to daylight is essential for human health and wellbeing, while describing the subtlety, beauty, and pleasures of well-daylighted spaces and attractive window views."

    Craig DiLouie, Educator, Journalist and Marketing Expert

    "Visual Delight in Architecture: Daylight, Vision, and View (Routledge, 2021) explores in an entertaining, accessible, and thorough way the connections between daylight, views and human health and well-being. This delightful book will teach you more than you can imagine about the subject yet will leave you inspired to learn more."

    Mark Rylander, AIA, Kennon Williams Landscape Studio, Charlottesville, Virginia

    "Lisa Heschong's Visual Delight in Architecture: Daylight, Vision, and View (Routledge, 2021) is possibly the most significant book on architecture and lighting of the past two decades–a foundational text that lays crucial groundwork for the evolution of research and design practice for a healthier built environment."

    Clifton Lemon, CEO of Clifton Lemon Associates, program director for the LightSpec Conferences and a member of The Lighting Agora

    "Lisa Heschong’s recent book is an expansive journey through her extraordinary career’s worth of ideas centered around the human need for light, specifically the dynamism of daylight and the role of views as grounding our place in the world. Its emphasis is on the critical importance of bringing that experience into buildings."

    Christopher Meek, Center for Integrated Design, University of Washington (excerpt from Buildings & Cities)