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21st April 2015 Comments Off on Using Sunlight as a Design Point Views: 1700 Simple Lighting Blog

Using Sunlight as a Design Point

One of the main problems most people have with skyscrapers is the huge shadow they cast. There are other issues associated with high rise buildings. Back in 2013 there was an amusing story about the “Walkie Talkie” building in London reflecting heat from the sun onto the street and melting a poor motorists Jaguar. It was an unfortunate and unexpected effect of the unique concave building design.

The "Walkie Talkie" tower reflecting the suns rays that melted a car.

The “Walkie Talkie” tower reflecting the suns rays that melted a car.

The developers of the building were kind enough to pay the owner of the car the repair cost.
More recently One Central Park in Sidney has been completed with impressive vertical gardens and a much less destructive design, built to reflect sunlight with moving windows to a large reflective heliostat that shines sunlight onto a garden area that would otherwise be completely in shadow for most of the day. The heliostat is wired with LED’s that are used for artistic displays in the evening.


One Central Park in Sidney is designed to reflect light using a complex set of mirrors and LEDs.

Now plans are in place for a light reflecting “No Shadow Tower” in London. The concept is two buildings adjacent to each other. One reflecting light from the sun into the gap between the two creating a pool of natural light throughout the day.


There’s been planning permission for 236 high rise buildings in London over the next few years, it’d be good to see if, instead of the sun melting a car as an unintentional side effect of architectural design, the movement and light of the sun was used to a more positive, intended effect.



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