London's Death Ray Skyscraper To Get Protective Screen

Karloff

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London's Death Ray Skyscraper To Get Protective Screen



The Walkie Scorchie can fry an egg, or ruin hair products. It's very versatile.

Spare a thought for architect Rafael Viñoly, whose not-quite-finished skyscraper, 20 Fenchurch Street - aka the Walkie Talkie, for its distinctive look - has been setting London ablaze this week. Glare from the sun, reflected off of its glass frontage, has been burning up the City. Jaguars have melted, hair products have been ruined, and some have successfully fried eggs in the reflected rays of the Scorchie. Though the developers claim this is a temporary setback - "the current elevation of the sun in the sky," rather than the building's design, is to blame - a six meter high scaffold with green and black wire netting has been erected, to save London from the worst of the Walkie Scorchie's effect. It's believed that covering the glass in non-reflective film will solve the problem for good.

"I could smell burning, so I thought some of our equipment had malfunctioned and set on fire," said one witness to the Scorchie's rays. "But then a customer pointed out that our carpet was smoking and a chair was beginning to wrinkle in the heat, caused by the concentrated sun coming through the window." This isn't the first Viñoly building to have death ray associations; his a series of balconies [http://gizmodo.com/a-brief-history-of-buildings-that-melt-things-1247657178] along the frontage which would have mitigated the mirror effect, but those balconies were cut from the plans at an early stage of development.

In the meantime, imagine the joy of those developers, now faced with the prospect of covering 57 stories worth of glass in non-reflective screen. Still, it could have been worse. "When I once described Rafael Viñoly as a menace to London," George Ferguson, former president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Tweeted [https://twitter.com/GeorgeFergusonx/status/375167015801331712], "I didn't think he was going to burn it."

Source: Guardian [http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/sep/04/walkie-talkie-screen-death-ray]


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Blunderboy

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Pffft.
First they turn down the planning permission for my Giant Death Ray, now this.
Damn you Boris Johnson, and your untameable hair too!
 

Morti

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Karloff said:
Though the developers claim this is a temporary setback - "the current elevation of the sun in the sky," rather than the building's design, is to blame
Yes, let's blame the one thing that we've successfully been able to chart the motion of for thousands of years.

When will architects learn that shiney concave surfaces are not a good idea for somewhere in direct sunlight...
 

Skeleon

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Of course it's the designer's fault. When you design your building with a concave reflective surface, well... that focused light has to end up somewhere. Considering his obvious lack of common sense, I'm now worried about the whole structure's integrity as well. Who knows what other idiotic choices he made for the aesthetics' sake?
 

Dr.Awkward

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Morti said:
When will architects learn that shiney concave surfaces are not a good idea for somewhere in direct sunlight...
When will architects learn that there are designs other than than some geometric shape covered in glass and steel? I'd like to see someone make a 100+ story skyscraper in Gothic Revival or Neoclassical design...
 

gigastar

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Granted theres not usually this much sun in London, but who the hell designs a conclave glass skyscraper which gets wider at the top, and then doesnt stick non-reflective glass on it?
 

The Artificially Prolonged

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To be fair to the architect he probably wasn't expecting much if any sunlight in London that would turn the building into a giant heat ray. But that's architects for you, design a building to look nice then worry if it's practical :p
 

DonTsetsi

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Dr.Awkward said:
Morti said:
When will architects learn that shiney concave surfaces are not a good idea for somewhere in direct sunlight...
When will architects learn that there are designs other than than some geometric shape covered in glass and steel? I'd like to see someone make a 100+ story skyscraper in Gothic Revival or Neoclassical design...
It wouldn't look very good, actually. The buildings are huge enough for any details to just blend in when looked at from afar. So, you may add details, but they still need to look good when homogenized by distance. For example, the world trade center buildings had pretty interesting detailing on their facades, especially on the lower floors. It looked somewhat gothic, actually. But when viewed from a distance it all blended in a striped texture.
 

DonTsetsi

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The Artificially Prolonged said:
To be fair to the architect he probably wasn't expecting much if any sunlight in London that would turn the building into a giant heat ray. But that's architects for you, design a building to look nice then worry if it's practical :p
That's the so-called "star" architects. Normal architects, who work on much smaller buildings (and get paid much smaller wages/fees) don't have the luxury of letting their ego get so bad that they would rather make a pretty unusable building than any kind of compromise.
P.S. I'm the third kind of architect- the one who doesn't practice his profession because of the almost complete lack of jobs.
 

Hairless Mammoth

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This has to be the 5th building I've heard about that turns into a death ray at the right time of the year. Why don't architects know about the tilt of the Earth and the different positions of the sun throughout the year? This could have been fixed in the design stages if each individual window was tilted up slightly and aimed the rays back into space. Now they got to fix it and deal with potential lawsuits. That non-reflective is just gonna make the rooms facing the sun hotter, increasing the HVAC costs. Money well spent, right?
 

fix-the-spade

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Hairless Mammoth said:
Why don't architects know about the tilt of the Earth and the different positions of the sun throughout the year?
Because Architects are myopic weirdos who care nothing for your childish notions of common sense.

At the same time planning are a heady combination of massively overworked, massively underfunded, constantly undermined by their own government and the first and last line of defence against these nutters.

The result of this heady mixture? Death Rays!

Vinoly knew exactly what he was doing, it's probably part of his creative vision that the building channel God's divine rays down onto the street below, anointing the chosen with it's holy light (or something). He's done it before, if anyone else is dumb enough to hire him he'll do it again, the man loves parabolic mirrors and he's going to build parabolic mirrors damnit!

http://www.bdonline.co.uk/pictures/458xAny/4/1/8/1575418_RafaelVinoly_smready.jpg
 

Karloff

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Morti said:
Karloff said:
Though the developers claim this is a temporary setback - "the current elevation of the sun in the sky," rather than the building's design, is to blame
Yes, let's blame the one thing that we've successfully been able to chart the motion of for thousands of years.

When will architects learn that shiney concave surfaces are not a good idea for somewhere in direct sunlight...
Modern artists like glass. They care more about being modern and trendy and having good things said about them during cocktail parties than personal safety, property damage and any appeal from someone who dares to shatter their fragile ego.
 

Saidan

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BrownGaijin said:
Well, it looks like the Myth Busters have a lot of explaining to do.
And their explanation will result in multiple explosions. Hopefully.
 

The Artificially Prolonged

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DonTsetsi said:
The Artificially Prolonged said:
To be fair to the architect he probably wasn't expecting much if any sunlight in London that would turn the building into a giant heat ray. But that's architects for you, design a building to look nice then worry if it's practical :p
That's the so-called "star" architects. Normal architects, who work on much smaller buildings (and get paid much smaller wages/fees) don't have the luxury of letting their ego get so bad that they would rather make a pretty unusable building than any kind of compromise.
P.S. I'm the third kind of architect- the one who doesn't practice his profession because of the almost complete lack of jobs.
Oh I know that. Just that I studied Surveying in University, where I found out there is some divide between surveyors and architects which I find quite assuming. Just some friendly jib. :p
 

Lightknight

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Nov 26, 2008
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Haha, current elevation of the sun is to blame. That's hilarious PR bullshit.

That's like a criminal saying that him pulling the trigger wasn't to blame. It was the direction the gun powder projected the bullet in relation to where the individual killed was standing.
 

Angelous Wang

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Oct 18, 2011
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DonTsetsi said:
Dr.Awkward said:
I'd like to see someone make a 100+ story skyscraper in Gothic Revival or Neoclassical design...
It wouldn't look very good, actually. The buildings are huge enough for any details to just blend in when looked at from afar. So, you may add details, but they still need to look good when homogenized by distance.
You have no idea what you are talking about, a Gothic tower in the middle of London would look awesome. As for your theoretical details problem; Saroun's tower or any number of evil towers in fiction disagree with you they all look good massive.
 

CriticalMiss

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Of course the Sun is to blame, how could the architect have possibly known that there would be sunlight in England?
 

iniudan

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I am emailing that one to Bad Call TV, would sure enjoy seeing them make an episode out of it.
 

Mahorfeus

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BrownGaijin said:
Well, it looks like the Myth Busters have a lot of explaining to do.
Well, I am pretty sure that even Archimedes could have figured out that only 57 stories' worth of reflective glass would get the job done...