1 THE ARCHITECTURE OF LIGHT
DIPL.-ING. OTTO FI RLE b.d.a.
The architecture of our age is passing through a stage of transition. The former ideal of pomp
and a "fine, decorative fa?ade" has collapsed.
The constructive possibilities of our age, the speed with which they have developed, the demands
made on publicity by the increasing violence of competition—all these are new problems which
demand new solutions. The extraordinary development of the electrical industry has put an
entirely new sphere of advertising in the forefront—advertising by illumination.
Twenty years ago, the street lighting was the prominent feature of the business streets, and the
lighted shop windows gave merely a general rounded impression of quiet brilliance, whereas
to-day they glitter and flash in a reckless medley of electric signs, all endeavoring to outdo one
Out of the smouldering night, apparently floating in the skies, the illuminated signs shriek out their
advertising slogans in glaring colors. They flame up and die out, running chains, falling fountains,
soaring torches of light, often of giant dimensions, each seeking to dazzle beyond its rival.
Things will soon come to a point when the front of a building entirely without illumination will
exercise a magnetic attraction upon the weary and astonished eye of the passer-by, and its dusky
modesty will be a better advertisement than all the screaming light effects of its rivals,
ie This is the fundamental secret of effectiveness in illuminated advertising:
Where there is Light, there must also be Shade!