Skyscraper glare melts car, fries eggs (UPDATE: Architect – mistakes were made)

I pity the ants on the sidewalk!

BBC News – ‘Walkie-Talkie’ skyscraper melts Jaguar car parts.

A new London skyscraper dubbed the “Walkie-Talkie” has been blamed for reflecting light which melted parts of a car parked on a nearby street.

Martin Lindsay parked his Jaguar on Eastcheap, in the City of London, on Thursday afternoon.

When he returned about two hours later, he found parts of his car – including the wing mirror and badge – had melted.

Mr Lindsay said he “could not believe” the damage. The developers have apologised and paid for repairs.

The building is under construction and appears curved. Does it act like a concave mirror, directing the rays? More here. It was very hot that day.

City AM site went out to test the heat rays and say they were able to fry an egg.

Yeah, this is getting dangerous.

Some of the damage to part of the car

Some of the damage to part of the car

UPDATE (6-Sept-2013) The architect visits and the news is not good.

Visiting London this week, Rafael Viñoly said the original design of the building had featured horizontal sun louvres on its south-facing facade , but these are believed to have been removed during cost-cutting as the project developed.

“We made a lot of mistakes with this building,” admitted Viñoly, “and we will take care of it.”

A short term solution has been devised to keep people out of the danger ray zone. Vinoly claims there was a lack of tools or software that could be used to predict the problem. I’m not so sure about that. But cost-cutting measures have a way of exposing flaws.

And HERE is a funny coincidence. We’ve talked about buildings burning people before. It turns out the Las Vegas example was the same guy?!

The architect has a track record of creating buildings that burn. His Vdara hotel in Las Vegas, with a similarly concave form, focused sunlight onto the pool terrace in 2010, hot enough to melt loungers and singe guests’ hair. The glass has since been covered in non-reflective film.

He blames the current problem also on all the sunny days.
Tip: Matt Madison and Kitty Mervine

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  4 comments for “Skyscraper glare melts car, fries eggs (UPDATE: Architect – mistakes were made)

  1. September 3, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    According to this, the parts that melted were the plastic ones:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23944679

    Which is good, because if it were hot enough to melt metal, it’d be a far bigger issue. :) Apparently this hotspot has been measured at 91.3C (196.34F)

    • September 3, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Duh! I will change the title. Thanks Brian!

  2. ZombyWoof
    September 3, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    I saw this on Yahoo news too. I have yet to see a picture of the car. But the above link shows one hell of a bright spot on the sidewalk. Yet there are people walking through it.

  3. Zetetic
    September 3, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Too bad they probably can’t put solar cells where the light is being concentrated. ;-)

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