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How to make a skyscraper's shadow disappear

As more and more tall buildings puncture the city's skyline, Londoners may fear they are doomed to walk in the gloom, cut off from what little sunlight the capital has to offer.

But a new technology developed by an architecture firm based in London's Tech City might solve this problem.

NBBJ has used computational design software and its own algorithms to develop a construction technique that it says eliminates shadows from tall buildings - by using reflections from an adjacent, twin skyscraper, to cancel them out.

The company has drawn up plans that show how the technique could work in Greenwich, London, though no building has yet been completed using the technique.

In September 2013 the so-called 'Walkie-Talkie' skyscraper in London made headlines when it melted a car parked beneath it, by concentrating the sun's rays on it.

The architects at NBBJ say this won't happen with their method, as it deliberately reflects diffuse light.

The chief goal is to make the plaza area beneath skyscrapers a more pleasant place for pedestrians, as Christian Coop, design director at NBBJ architects, explained.

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  • 14 Apr 2015
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