A building without shadows is the latest in a series of designs developed by architecture and engineering professionals around the world who continue to push the limits of digital modelling tools.  

NBBJ’s London studio employed advanced design computation techniques to develop the No-Shadow Tower, a dual tower design that uses the facade of one tower to redirect sunlight, thereby erasing the shadows created by the second tower.

Created as part of a competition organised by New London Architecture, the shadowless dual tower was developed by a design team led by NBBJ Design Director Christian Coop by optimising the orientation, form, footprint, and glass exterior of the buildings. The northernmost building functions as a massive light reflector, casting sunlight at precise angles throughout the day to remove the shadows created by the south tower. The design reduces shadows cast at street level by up to 60 per cent.

The NBBJ London studio team utilised software applications such as Rhinoceros, a 3D surface modelling tool as well as the graphical algorithm editor Grasshopper to create the shadowless towers.


According to Coop, though the design remains a concept, the No-Shadow Tower is a powerful demonstration of the potential of design computation using software applications such as Grasshopper and Dynamo among others to leverage algorithms to link geometry with data and predict outcomes.

Design firms are going beyond the basic applications of these tools such as predicting energy performance or cost of a given design iteration, to explore how these tools can be used more imaginatively, for instance, to optimise an office tower to maximise views from every space or design an inpatient wing to minimise steps for the nurses.

Image and renders courtesy NBBJ/