At THERE, our work in experiential design is based around understanding public spaces and how the community utilise and interact with their environments.
Within a CBD context, urban spaces can often be dwarfed by the high-density architecture that surrounds them. Whilst many developments try to activate their ground-plane through sculptural or civic interventions, a British architectural firm - NBBJ - have tried to reimagine the skyscraper to be more more mindful of the local surroundings. "The No Shadow Tower" places public space at the heart of the project, by redirecting sunlight to areas that would otherwise be cast in shadow.
The firm developed the theory for two twisting towers located in North Greenwhich, London.
"We like to push the boundaries of what is achievable with design computation by developing new applications like the No Shadow Tower. The algorithm design for the tower is based on the law of reflection. Our facade has varying angles of panels that distribute light over a certain area at multiple times during the day."
According to the design team, the reflective panels could reduce the amount of shadow cast by the building by up to 50 per cent.
The angle of sunlight on the site of the towers was recorded every day for a year, allowing the design team to predict the behaviour of light at different times of day and how it would reflect off the two buildings. These results were inputted into a parametric computer model to generate the envelope for the buildings.
The façade would be constructed from a series of individual panels that would allow sunlight to be reflected by each pane. As a result, rather than creating heat or glare in a concentrated area, the light would be reflected in pools.
The construction of the towers would not be particularly complicated – the most challenging aspect is the research that determines the location and angles of the sun to create optimum structures responsive to their location.
"The research that we have undertaken could be applied in many locations in the world, each time creating a different form that would relate to its specific context and solar conditions. We see this concept developing and eventually incorporated into towers around the world. It will add to the possibilities that tall buildings can provide for improved urban environments globally.”
THERE loves the idea that designers are starting to influence and activate spaces for the people who live, work and play within urban environments from the initial planning stages of architectural developments.