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This skyscraper melted a car

Posting in Cities

Undulation and curves are popular trends in skyscraper design. But for one new skyscraper that design choice is having some unintended consequences.

From BBC:

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.

During certain hours of a sunny day, the building's concave design evokes childhood memories of terrorizing ants with a magnifying glass. Except the tower's the magnifying glass, we're the ants.

Surprisingly, (or maybe not with so much with many buildings opting for curvy designs and reflective glass) this isn't all that uncommon. As the Guardian points out, its not even the first time this has happened to Rafael Viñoly, the architect of "The Walkie Talkie." In 2009, a Las Vegas hotel designed by Viñoly got complaints for giving off a "death ray" that melted plastic and hair on the pool deck.

That's hardly surprising coming from Las Vegas, but if it's happening in cloudy London maybe it's time for a shift in design philosophy. Or at least stick some solar panels on those facades.

Read more: BBC

Photo: Flickr/[Duncan]

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— By on September 3, 2013, 7:27 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure