DailyDirt: Dangerous Death-Ray Buildings
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
When architects design a new building or bridge, they really need to think through a lot of little details because these things usually last a long time (and take a long time to build). There are some famous design mistakes like the (original) Tacoma Narrows bridge which serves as a physics lesson for high school kids and a cautionary tale for any engineering/architecture students. Here are a few more potential physics lessons (in optics) involving buildings that demonstrate the real-word effect of “the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection.”
- Architect Rafael Vinoly has designed a London building that isn’t quite finished yet, but sunlight reflected off its curved glass panels focuses on the ground and gets hot enough to melt cars. The skyscraper was previously called the “Walkie Talkie” for its overall shape, but now some folks are referring to it as the “fryscaper” after its death ray problem. [url]
- The shiny stainless steel exterior of the Walt Disney Concert Hall created a nice warm glow for residents across the street when the building was new in 2004. The architects had actually tried to take into account the glare of the building, but during construction some panels were placed at a slightly different angle than were in the plans. [url]
- In 2010, the Vdara hotel in Las Vegas featured its own death ray, magnifying the desert sun onto a swimming pool area where guests weren’t pleasantly greeted by temperatures that could cook a steak. This hotel was also designed by architect Rafael Vinoly, so perhaps he should lay off of the parabolic window for a while…. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
Filed Under: architecture, buildings, death ray, design, fryscaper, optics, rafael vinoly, vdara hotel
Comments on “DailyDirt: Dangerous Death-Ray Buildings”
how hot does it have to be to melt a car?
Re: melting cars?
Sadly it’s not as awesome as melting whole cars, though it has been frying the crap out of non-metallic parts of several cars, including some poor sap’s Jaguar XJ.
From the article: “The Times newspaper said that temperatures near the tower exceeded 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) on Monday.”
Re: melting cars?
It wasn’t the whole car, but parts of the car had serious deformation/warping. The mirrors are the main things that melted, and I think they would be made of Polypropylene. The temperature for melting would probably be between 130-160 ?C (266-330 ?F)
Re: melting cars?
Plastic melts at around 200 degrees Celsius, the melting point for steel is around 1400 degrees Celsius so you can guess how hot it got there.
'Accidentally' melting cars, trying to boil guests who go for a swim...
Anyone else get the feeling we might have a budding super-villain in the making here?
So, you have your choice – melting cars, or bar-b-q’d guests. Sounds like he is batting 1000… 🙂
Architect Rafael Vinoly, huge buffoon or evil genius?
Who will stop this menace?
Seriously – doesn’t anyone review these designs prior to funding the project? A fifth grader could point out this particular flaw without much thought at all, it is quite obvious. And with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, who thought the latest blunder was a good idea?
Lord Vader approves such experiments!
Maybe it’s some cosmic prank to remind us how the ants suffered when we used magnifying glasses on them?
Murphy’s Law is always present.
That is something completely new for me. I will research the topic some more and share my findings later on.
This might be happen because of some chemical reaction took place with the mirror, as mirror has high melting points.