Building Designs that are “Too Hot to Handle”


view of the Vdara hotel in Las Vegas, curved windows

Usually, when you hear the phrase “this view would kill you” it’s referring to a national landmark, a tropical beach, or a city view that makes you feel like you are on top of the world.

In this case, however, the view from these buildings isn’t the “killer”; the sun reflecting off of the glass windows is the real culprit.

If you haven’t seen the news, there have been two recent stories of reflections off of the building’s windows causing severe flesh, metal, wood, and plastic burns. In both of these cases, the culprit was a sheer wall of windows with a curved design. This curve acts as a sort of ‘magnifying glass’ and anyone/thing that stands in its way will feel its heat right away.

In London, the temperature of the light beam given off of the ‘Walkie-Talkie Tower’ has soared to 150 degrees. It’s been blamed for melting parts of a luxury Jaguar automobile, damaging a van, and heating up sidewalks to stove-top temperatures (someone fried an egg on the sidewalk). One street-level store owner reported that his carpet caught on fire when the beam of light hit his floor. Developers are trying desperately to resolve this issue before any more damage is done. But I am sure foggy London town is hoping for those clouds now more than ever.

Oddly similar, in Las Vegas, there is a resort casino, Vdara, whose curved-glass exterior is causing serious sunburns. The south side of the building is where the pool is located and when the sun is in a certain position in the sky, the building acts as a magnifying glass in the pool area.

For more photos/videos/information, click London and Las Vegas.

Header Image:
The Vdara Hotel, Las Vegas
Mark Mitchell (Permissions)