Design and culture19.03.2015

A Skyscraper that Does not Cast a Shadow - Coming Soon

The architects at London firm NBBJ are using digital mirroring software in order to solve a problem plaguing the citizens of the megapolis.

+2 imagesA Skyscraper that Does not Cast a Shadow - Coming Soon
Although skyscrapers are the most effective way of building in cities with growing populations, they are also becoming a serious problem for people who are spending their lives in their shadow. This situation inspired the architects at NBBJ to find a solution to the problem, which can be applied to London, New York and any other megapolis in the world.

According to them, two buildings built in symbiosis with each other, simultaneously capturing and reflecting light, will eliminate the problem of their massive structures casting shade. The glass surface of the north part of the building will reflect light and direct it towards the spot of shadow, cast by its southern "partner" building. The precise curvature of the glass allows for the reflected, diffused light to follow the shifting shadow throughout the day. "The relationship between the sun and shadow is the basis for the relationship created between the two buildings", shared Christian Coop, design director at NBBJ.

The team uses the software Rhinoceros to develop the shape of the buildings themselves. There are a number of important requirements the construction must take into account, the most significant of which is the design of the facade to reflect as much light as possible. "Some of the prototypes were absurd - admits Coop. - We had to change the project criteria before we arrived at an appropriate concept. It was like working with clay."

The final product the team chose, has a rather thin base which expands with every growing floor and, most importantly, decreases the cast shadow by over 60%!

NBBJ is developing the conceptual project in Greenwich, UK however, the benefits of this software is that it can be used to design skyscrapers all over the world. All that needs to be tweaked are the data relative to where the sun sets in a particular location.

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