Here comes the sun, with NBBJ's No Shadow Tower
Everybody in London has something to say about the gaggle of tall towers that have been built recently, that they either cast shadows or worse, melt cars like the Fryscraper/ walkie-talkie building. Now the London office of the big architectural firm NBBJ has come up with a solution to the problem: It's called actually planning ahead and thinking about the sun, how it moves through the sky from east to west, and using computers to plot the reflections. David Kosdruy of the No Shade Tower Project tells Gizmag about how they developed an algorithm.
Sun reflected from a straight façade provides an even distribution of light at just one point in time over a specific area. From a spherical façade it results in a concentration of light in one point. Both these results are not desirable for a no shade tower. Our façade on the other hand has varying angles of façade panels that distribute light over a certain area at multiple times during the day. [They developed a script] that enabled us to find the optimal angles necessary to reduce the shadow in between the two towers at a desired time during the day. The information about the angles got fed back to a parametric geometry model that generates the building envelope."
Gif via Wired
TreeHugger has shown heliostats on buildings to light up the area in courtyards and parks, but this is the first time I have seen the building engineered to reflect the sunlight like this, effectively making the building shadowless (or at least the courtyards between them).
Of course in London much of the year there are no shadows anyway, but this could have application in New York City Toronto or anywhere else the NIMBYs and preservationists insist on maintaining sunlight.