Evaluation of light design of Fisher Library Essay Example

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When we visited the Fisher library in Sydney, we first inquire about the library from the library officer who was in charge. We found out that the University of Sydney library is one of the libraries in the university which composed of twelve locations across the seven campuses of the University. The largest library was Fisher library which was named after Thomas Fisher who was one of the benefactors of the library. Fisher donated money in early 1885 for the construction of the library. The chief architect of this library was Walter Vernon who was the government architect. The construction of this library took eight years before its completion.

Fisher contribution or donation was set aside for buying books while government sponsored the full construction cost of the library. The Fisher library was opened in 1909 where the reading was constructed in Gothic tradition with a huge cedar roof containing adjoining multi-tier book stack which was advance design then containing two electric book lifts. Currently, the reading room was changed to McLaurin Hall. This was a brief history of the Fisher library which was our main area of focus. We were given permission to enter into the library and carry out lighting design.

Learning space

The library should have a space between the reading desk and walking space which can help the users concentrate. From the investigation of the Fisher library, it was clear that individual study desk offers enough room and privacy which was useful in assisting the users with quite studies. The library has adopted the cubicles which are good and help in maintaining the space privacy and away from prying eyes if one feel self-conscious. It further helps by giving the users their space which is quite important for a library user (Thorndike et al., 2014).

There is variety of space within the library as one can access a study booth the study booth or quiet study area. One can also be able to book a group discussion room and this we were informed are being booked one hour earlier before the use. Within the library, it is designed in a way that it gives different level of quietness and it meets everyone needs.

Design for the daylight component

It is important for careful design for the efficacy and heat content of the daylight. The aperture size needs careful control and there three main concept which needs to be considered designing it. They include:-

Sun control: — This help in mitigating any increase in the cooling load and control from the direct glare of the sunlight. This has been taken into consideration when construction of the Fisher library as there are some interior and exterior design which control direct sunlight entering the reading room (Thorndike et al., 2014).

Glare control: — This help in creating and maintaining the comfortable brightness distribution which includes direct views of the bright sky in the ordinary direction of view. It is well contained in the building has translucent roof tops cover used to bring direct sunlight into the library. This help in maintaining the required level of sunlight in the library.

Variation control: — help the users to avoid the perception of insufficient local lights, these are done by adding electricity light in the room located in strategic position and can help in increasing or decreasing the amount of direct light which enters the study room (Thorndike et al., 2014). In combining the three elements above, a creative and skillful architecture can allow the basic criteria of day lighting design to the basis of exciting architectural space (Borcoci, et al., 2015). The figure below shows combining roof monitor which can be used to enhance the lighting space in the Fisher library. They have skylight apertures which define architectural space libraries.

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Figure 1: Skylights and roof monitors

It should be noted that the size of the skylight and roof monitors creates a wonderful space in the room. This is the technology which has been used in the new study room of the Fisher library. When the Skylights and roof monitors are combined, they are capable of enhancing space light in the library, and this is the new proposal we would like to recommend for the Fisher library.

Borcoci, et al., (2015) states that perimeters spaces of any building and specifically a library can be effective day lighted at approximately twenty feet from the exterior wall by the use of windows and clerestories depending with the design. The architectural principles argue that the taller the window, the deeper will be the daylight penetration into space. This is quite evident in the Fisher building and explains the depth of the light level.

Clear glass is preferred for day lighting, but this, in turn, need to be carefully designed with sun control devices which are capable of providing adequate shading. The presence of the mounted shades helps in reducing the high intensity and heat content of the direct sunlight. It is important for the use of external sunlight shade as they are the most effective as the internal shades with lightly colored fabric help in reducing the heat gain by almost one-third of the incident solar energy (Thorndike et al., 2014).

The figure below shows horizontal sunshade which is used by the Fisher library in Sydney University. It contains some structure which excludes all direct sunlight with open spaces that allow diffusion of light.

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Figure 2: Wall shade

This is a pictorial structure of what was to be implemented by the Fisher Library at Sydney University. The third aspect has been fully implemented at the Sydney University, and it helps a great deal in controlling the space light. Though the current lighting system is good, more effort needs to be placed on the spacing when it comes to visual task in the library. The recommended roofing and skylights above needs to be combined.


Daylight in buildings is such an important concept in architectural design especially in public buildings like library. From the literature analysis, it is clear that there are various means and ways of improving light space in the library especially the Fisher library. These libraries were built long time when technology was still very scanty, but with increase in technology, there is continuous improvement in both exterior and interior design.


Borcoci, E., Cernat, C., Iorga, R., Batalla, J. M., & Negru, D. (2015). Flexible Design of a Light-Architecture Content Streaming System with Dual Adaptation. ICNS 2015, 128.

Thorndike, A. N., Riis, J., Sonnenberg, L. M., & Levy, D. E. (2014). Traffic-light labels and choice architecture: promoting healthy food choices. American journal of preventive medicine, 46(2), 143-149.