Natural light is a dynamic and ephemeral tool for expressing the quality of architecturalspace. As a compliment to more traditional avenues of daylighting research that assess performance in terms of quantitative illuminance goals and glare-based discomfort, my thesis defines light variability and contrast as a finely tuned architectural effect. Under the rapidly growing context of energy conscious research, my thesis attempts to re-balance our definition of “performance” to include those perceptual and aesthetic aspects of light that are often disregarded by the world of simulation. Contrast is important to the definition of space and it is essential in understanding how architecture is enhanced and transformed over time by the dynamic and variable characteristics of daylight. Through an analysis of contemporary architecture from around the world, this thesis has developed a new typological language that categorizes architectural space in terms of contrast and temporal variation. Using this system of categorization, my thesis proposes three new metrics for the quantification of contrast and light variability to provide a more holistic analysis of daylight performance.