rafael vinoly's 20 fenchurch street skyscraper is melting cars
 
rafael vinoly's 20 fenchurch street skyscraper is melting cars
sep 03, 2013

rafael vinoly's 20 fenchurch street skyscraper is melting cars


rafael viñoly’s 20 fenchurch street skyscraper is reportedly melting cars
image courtesy rafael viñoly architects

 

 

 

following the latest controversies in international skyscraper news, we bring you another architectural mishap that is raising some heat amongst londoners. uruguayan architect rafael viñoly‘s 160 meter tall skyscraper 20 fenchurch street – otherwise known as the ‘walkie talkie’ – has been reported to be melting cars from extreme sun glare and reflections. martin lindsay, a director of a tiling company, left his jaguar XJ parked for an hour on the opposite side of the building, returning to only find warped body work and a melted side view mirror.

 

the building, which is currently under construction, incorporates extensive glazing to maximize views on the north and south elevations, which, as a result, is causing extensive damage to vehicles parked beneath and additionally blinding passersby. a similar problem emerged in las vegas three years ago, when the concave façade of a new hotel caused reflections bright enough to melt plastic bags. the FT financial times state that ironically one of the main issues for developers of tall buildings has been a historic twist of english law known as ‘right to light’, which ensures property owners are not cast into shadow by neighboring buildings. naturally, londoners have already given a new nickname to this very bright building, which shall be known from now on as the ‘walkie scorchie’.

rafael vinoly's 20 fenchurch street skyscraper is melting cars
a jaguar with extensive damage caused from the sun’s glare

rafael vinoly's 20 fenchurch street skyscraper is melting cars
sunlight reflected from the concave windows scorched pedestrians and damaged parked cars
image courtesy CHEST

rafael vinoly's 20 fenchurch street skyscraper is melting cars
city workers walk through a beam of intense sunlight reflected from the glass facade
image © leon neal/AFP

rafael vinoly's 20 fenchurch street skyscraper is melting cars
the skyscraper is currently under construction and due to complete later this year
image courtesy CHEST

rafael vinoly's 20 fenchurch street skyscraper is melting cars
construction detail of the concave facade causing the extreme reflections
image courtesy CHEST

  • There have been several examples of similar effects, including a past Vinoly building in the USA.

    Reactions seem typical.

    Firstly, the public will register the achitects lack of scientific knowledge regarding the effect, which has been promoted in every boys journal and science encyclopedia since the 50`s.
    When the Disney Hall suffered a similar fate in an article I reflected(sorry) on the possible use of panels to produce energy…………….. that was 10 years ago. This technology has been adopted by many other architects to reduce Co2 etc etc.
    although the goverments reduction of tax credits for Photo-voltaics (energy from the sun) has nearly stopped the use of panels on domestic buildings.

    Secondly, the London fiasco re-affirms the publics notion of architects as superficial form makers, devoid of other benefits.

    CNN broadcast reactions from a Prof. from a London architectural school who had little to say regarding this obvious lack of knowledge, made a joke about the previous case, without mentioning the Gerhry Disney Hall example.

    Thirdly, such a failure in an institutional scale building will not aid the architects attempt to be more responsable and broaden their involvement and client base. RIBA please note.

    Engineers will be blamed for not calculating the possible side effects of concave elevations…………………but the architects are to blame and the star system criticised. By the way Vinolay has a lot of work even in the present crisis…………….anyone notice the design fault in his office? Do these people listen to engineers?

    It matters and three major fauilures surely suggests that architets don`t listen to others, or care about their public image.

    john chamberlain says:
  • Could it be possible to actually make a benefit of curved glass facades on skyscrapers – ie solar furnace combined with turbines for production of ‘free’ electricity for the area? Especially in sunnier climates?

    JKT says:
  • ARCHITROLLING

    Javee says:
  • All that and it’s ugly as well. Nice “feature”.

    Todd says:
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