Answered by Vincen Mathai on what are some infamous architectural blunders?
The ‘Walkie-Talkie’ building in London’s financial district has the infamous reputation of being able to melt parts of cars that are parked nearby. The curve-shaped ‘Walkie-Talkie’ building has now been dubbed ‘Walkie-Scorchie’ after it caused £950 of damage to a high-spec Jaguar parked nearby.
Architectural enthusiasts on seeing this image of the building would now have noticed the parabolic and reflective nature of the building. The whole blunder is caused by those aspects of the building.
How does it happen?
The parabolic nature of the building allows for sunlight to be reflected from the mirrored panels used on the building. The tall and irregular-shaped building faces in such a way that sunlight bounces off of it and heads toward the ground, nearby buildings, and vehicles.
The intense rays are given off for two hours a day when the sun reaches a certain position in the sky, managing to warp the panels and side view mirrors on the cars parked within the focal length of the concave mirror-ed building .
The glare is so hot that it warped the side view mirror.
As the sun moves the glare will be at different positions on different buildings in different areas at different times. Therefore the problem is bigger than one thinks.
Now as a temporary solution, City of London has agreed to do away with three parking spaces in the direct path of the reflected sunbeams . Architects are trying to create a long-term solution for this blunder.
About the Architect?
The architect iswho also happened to design a hotel in Las Vegas called , which had a similar problem where the temperature generated from the solar glare was so high that the employees called the phenomenon as the “Vdara Death Ray”.
How did they fix the glare issue at ‘Walkie Scorchie’ ?
Work began on adding glare protection to the building during the month of May 2013, lasting around six months. The solution has been designed by the original architectalong with solar glare experts Loisos + Ubbelohde.
To fix the problem , sun shades were fitted to the building to form a “” system, which costed around a few million dollars.
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