‘No-Shadow’ Skyscraper Could Solve the Problem of Towers Blocking the Sun

March 16, 2015

It’s been one of the biggest criticisms of all of New York’s new supertall towers–their shadow-casting, sun-blocking tendencies and the fact that there’s nothing in place to regulate this. But a new skyscraper proposed for London may solve this urban dilemma.

Architects at the London-based firm NBBJ digitally designed a pair of towers that are precisely aligned with curved and angled facades that act like mirrors to reflect down toward the street. According to the National Post, “In theory, one of the towers would reflect sunlight into the shadow of its sister tower, reducing the area of shade caused by the project as a whole.”

No Shadow Skyscraper, NBBJ Architects
Rendering of the courtyard functioning as a public space 

A spokesman for NBBJ said: “The ‘No Shadow Tower’ redirects sunlight to visibly reduce shadows at the base of the towers by 60 percent over typical buildings, providing more daylight for pedestrians.” In addition to preserving natural light on the streetscape, the firm hopes their design will also encourage the use of the area between the towers as public space. NBBJ also recently designed the Sunbreak Shade in the same vein, a shading prototype that acts as a skyscraper skin that adjusts on a window-by-window basis depending on the angle of the sun, conserving energy and allowing workers to control office temperatures.

In 2013, Rafael Vinoly’s Walkie Talkie building in London was highly criticized for its curved façade that reflected sunlight onto the surrounding cars and buildings. The no-shadow building is in response to such design. If the plan successfully comes to fruition it would be a perfect prototype for New York, where new towers like 432 Park (also designed by Rafael Vinoly) are being accused of casting shadows over Central Park and blocking precious sunlight from neighboring buildings.

[Via National Post]


Images via NBBJ

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