ANARCHITECT designs one of the entrances to the Dubai Design Week 2018

This November sees ANARCHITECT design one of the entrances to the 2018 edition of the Dubai Design Week, taking place at the Dubai Design District (d3) between 12-17 November. ANARCHITECT is an award-winning architecture practice founded by British architect Jonathan Ashmore and based in Dubai and London.

The Circadian Light Synthesis installation will raise awareness and highlight to the public the different positions, colour temperatures and intensity of sunlight that dictate our human circadian rhythm and natural body-clock, including our relationship with the Moon. ANARCHITECT has developed the installation together with lighting experts Delta Light and Matteo Brioni who specialises in natural earth surfaces.

“The relationship between body and light conditions is important for human well-being and a key aspect of design and architecture,” says Ashmore. “Circadian Light Synthesis will harness the intense sunlight as well as moonlight conditions at its location while providing a recognisable welcoming, recharging, explorative and contemplative area for the Dubai Design Week visitors.

The installation is parted into two interconnected elements. The southern ‘Exposed’ Pavilion will remain open-sided and will house a seated area for visitors, which will double up as a shading structure. Its wall and roof apertures will be specifically oriented in line with sun path which will harness its intense light particularly at midday (12 pm), afternoon (3 pm) and sunset (6 pm) to cast specific shadows. The northern ‘Enclosed’ Pavilion will be predominantly closed and lit with Deltalight’s ‘artificial sun’, charged by solar power.

In the daytime, the rotating light fixture will cast the artificial sunlight in the Enclosed pavilion in accordance with the natural circadian rhythm aligned with human wellbeing. At night, the light fixture will rotate to project the moonlight into the Enclosed pavilion from the rear of the same light source. The other side of the rotating light fixture will project the light onto the Exposed pavilion during the night, providing it with the light source and creating the shadows and light play after the sunset.

Danilo Mandelli comments,

“At Delta Light, we deeply care about Human Centric Lighting and its importance for our wellbeing. Light stimulates us and influences our moods and activity levels. Our physiological response to light depends on its characteristics such as colour spectrum, intensity and timing. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of our brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. A huge array of biological processes within the human body, and indeed in all forms of life on Earth, cycle according to a 24-hour clock. Circadian rhythm allows our body to assign functions based on the time of day, and whether you are asleep or awake.”

“Old masters, as well as contemporary architects, understand the importance of working and designing with both natural and artificial light because it allows an understanding of the architectural volumes, as well as appreciating finishes and decorations. For this reason, the light is considered one of the most important building elements in the hands of the designers.”


Upon their arrival, visitors will be able to photograph the uniquely framed Burj Khalifa view between the two pavilions. This photogenic installation will also provide a different opportunity for capturing light play created by shadows cast during both day and night.

The structures of the installation are chosen to be clad in clay – specifically Matteo Brioni’s TerraPlus Cammeo – a mixture of raw earth, mineral binders and resinous polymers, which allow obtaining greater resistance to abrasion and water without losing its permeability. This non-fading material allows for the sun to beautifully highlight its unique natural texture. Matteo says,

“The earth is part of everyone’s past. However, mine in particular.Growing up in Gonzaga in Italy, among the history, the fields and clay quarries can have a strong impact on your choices. I discovered, like many designers, earth, was not only a “sustainable” and “healthy” material but also sensual and “naturally” beauty, pleasant to the touch and sinuously adaptable to any surface.”

Circadian Light Synthesis will be open to the public throughout the Dubai Design Week, 12-17 November 2018.