This is a guest post from Antonina of OpenBuildings – a community-driven and openly editable encyclopaedia of buildings from around the world. It’s a database of historic, contemporary and conceptual architecture that exists as a website and application for iPhone, and recently – Android, which enable users to find, learn about and share nearby buildings of architectural merit.

To introduce today’s inspirational pick of buildings demonstrating inventive use of natural light I found no better option but to quote one of the outstanding architects who felt compelled – throughout their work – to let the sunshine in and were never afraid to give inspiring shape to the darkness.

“I sense Light as the giver of all presences, and material as spent Light.  What is made by Light casts a shadow, and the shadow belongs to Light.”

Louis I. Kahn

Mario Botta: Santo Volto Church

Mario Botta: Santo Volto Church

Tadao Ando: Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum

Tadao Ando: Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum

SANAA: Zollverein School of Management and Design

SANAA: Zollverein School of Management and Design

Toyo Ito & Associates: Za Koenji Public Theatre

Toyo Ito & Associates: Za Koenji Public Theatre

Louis I. Kahn: Exeter Library

Louis I. Kahn: Exeter Library

Markus Wespi Jérôme de Meuron Architects: Brione House

Markus Wespi Jérôme de Meuron Architects: Brione House

Carlo Scarpa: Museo Canoviano

Carlo Scarpa: Museo Canoviano

Sami Rintala: Boxhome

Sami Rintala: Boxhome

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas: San Paolo Parish Complex

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas: San Paolo Parish Complex

Zaha Hadid Architects: Phaeno Science Center

Zaha Hadid Architects: Phaeno Science Center

M Kishi Environment & Architecture: Studio C+ 

M Kishi Environment & Architecture: Studio C+