Sunlight wields enormous power in our interior spaces. It can drive up the value of real estate and alter the mood of a room. It can clarify the work on your desktop and create warmth on a cool day. No light bulb can do all that.
Natural light has long shaped how buildings are designed and constructed for these reasons. And as we described in this recent Upshot project,
light is a big part of why it’s so hard to convert many office buildings into housing. In short, apartments require daylight. And the deep interior of the big modern office hasn’t got it.
It takes only a quick scan of real estate listings to see the instinctive (and commercial) hold that sunlight has over us.
“The Geographer” by Johannes Vermeer, 1669. Credit: Rijksmuseum