AGRICULTURAL LIGHTING FACADE Architecture Research Incubator

Two of the global challenges which the city of the future will face are the consume of (artificial) light and the food supply. Those two issues have something in common: population growth and urbanization. Light installations and illumination in urban spaces are central aspects of the city marketing and play an important role for increasing the attractiveness of public spaces. Modeling the visual appearance of building facades using artificial light is part of this rising trend. There is a causal relation between the aesthetic appearance of the city and its economic growth and it is expected that this relationship will gain in importance in the future. Modeling the visual appearance of building facades through illumination can be also used for another purpose: cultivation of crop plants supported by artificial light (vertical farming). The subject of the design studio (Agricultural Lighting Facade) was designing a building facade able to perform two specific tasks: aesthetic illumination and cultivation of crop plants (lettuce, tomato, beans) in controllable climatic environment. Bringing together greenhouse technology, facade technology and lighting design we studied the possibilities for achieving synergies between different applications and uses. We also faced the challenge to design a technical solution suitable for aesthetic illumination and cultivation of crop plants, able to be integrated into a building facade. Simultaneously we analyzed potential conflicts and their impact on the building and the building use. The challenge was the interdisciplinary nature of the task: building design, light design, plant physiology. Light color, light intensity and light direction are signals for plants, navigating them to control their rate of photosynthesis, vegetation, growth and motion. Light color, light intensity and light direction are for us humans stimuli evoking attention, emotions and associations. If we succeed to match those two worlds together then we can give a new meaning to the topic of light as tool for city marketing and open a whole new spectrum of opportunities for architects and city planners.



Teaching team

M.Sc. Mariana Yordanova

Prof. Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Ludwig

Prof. Dr. Ing. Hannelore Deubzer


Course language



Type of course

Master project for Landscape Architecture and Architecture students