Green Room

Great new London landmark — the fryscraper

posted at 6:33 pm on September 4, 2013 by

A new London skyscraper acts as a parabolic reflector during certain hours of the day that focuses and amplifies sunlight and heat enough to actually melt cars and cook food on the sidewalk. Surface temperatures reach 200 degrees on the street below the 37-story building, CBS’ Charlie D’Agata reports:

It’s bad enough that it happened once, but twice? That sounds intentional.

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A curved “glass wall” facing the Sun, and it never occurred to the architects or engineers to worry about a burning-glass effect?

Obviously, Basic Physics is an elective in schools of architecture and structural engineering these days. One nobody bothers with.

I’m sure they all got “A”s in Bauhaus History and The Inevitability of Le Corbusierism, though.

And History of Islamic Architecture, of course.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 4, 2013 at 7:18 PM

“That’s not our design, it’s the world’s design” claimed the firm that designed it.

Flange on September 4, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Hey, I know! Lets build a giant parabolic reflector that focuses sunlight directly onto the sidewalk! It’s like that old ants and magnifying glass trick, only with people!

How did an engineer approve that design without snickering?

crosspatch on September 4, 2013 at 8:00 PM

On second thought, sounds like a great place to put a shade structure covered with solar panels.

crosspatch on September 4, 2013 at 8:01 PM

On second thought, sounds like a great place to put a shade structure covered with solar panels.

crosspatch on September 4, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Genius!

Othniel on September 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Crikey!

Galtian on September 4, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Sounds like it wasn’t quite as bad, but, they had a similar issue with the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_Hall#Reflection_problems

JadeNYU on September 4, 2013 at 8:49 PM

London has one of the most hideous skylines I’ve ever encountered. Now they’ve added the Cheese Grater and the Walkie-Talkie to the Gherkin and the Can of Ham.

Lost in Jersey on September 4, 2013 at 8:51 PM

0 Solar Hmmm…….

Bmore on September 4, 2013 at 9:06 PM

On second thought, sounds like a great place to put a shade structure covered with solar panels.

crosspatch on September 4, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Problem: solar panels loose efficiency as they get hotter.

Count to 10 on September 4, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Las Vegas has done this at least twice – first the Mandalay Bay Death Ray, and now the Vdara Death Ray.

dentarthurdent on September 4, 2013 at 9:19 PM

it is idiotic that no one would consider that a building in the shape of a curved mirror might cause hot spot problems.

kaltes on September 4, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Problem: solar panels loose efficiency as they get hotter.

Count to 10 on September 4, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Funny. Thing that is supposed to get energy from the sun doesn’t work when hit by the sun.

philoquin on September 4, 2013 at 9:45 PM

They didn’t build that. Someone else made that happen.

Jocundus on September 4, 2013 at 11:44 PM

This was a problem in places like Texas where these materials were first used in scale. It’s poor planning.

lexhamfox on September 5, 2013 at 12:19 AM

It’s bad enough that it happened once, but twice? That sounds intentional.

Once is happenstance, twice coincidence, three times enemy action…

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/39403349/ns/travel-news/t/death-ray-vegas-hotel-pool-heats-guests/#.UigLKhbRGlI

Hayabusa on September 5, 2013 at 12:43 AM

Did anybody else notice the music that they used for the report? It is from the musical War of the Worlds album. It is equating the fryscraper’s hot beam with the Martian’s Death Rays. That is an awesome use of the music for what will be, for most people, a subliminal connection at best. Fantastic. :)

Theophile on September 5, 2013 at 2:17 AM

Theophile on September 5, 2013 at 2:17 AM

Agreed. Very cool.

The fact that the same architect did the same thing in Vegas, and apparently nobody thought to ask him not to do it in London, makes me wonder if anybody is paying attention.

Then again, he may simply have gone “Full Mies” on them, and launched a tirade about “You WILL accept the True Vision of Modern Architecture!!”

And the client, as Tom Wolfe relates, will “take it like a man”.

cheers

eon

eon on September 5, 2013 at 7:21 AM

This time it was in England so they didn’t think it would be a problem.

Slowburn on September 5, 2013 at 8:10 AM

OK, so just avoid that area on the, what, two days per week London get sunshine.

Kafir on September 5, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Fryscraper? That’s about the best job one can hope to obtain in the Obama Economy.

steebo77 on September 5, 2013 at 9:21 AM

London has one of the most hideous skylines I’ve ever encountered. Now they’ve added the Cheese Grater and the Walkie-Talkie to the Gherkin and the Can of Ham.

Lost in Jersey on September 4, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Don’t forget the Inside-Out Building.

steebo77 on September 5, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Funny. Thing that is supposed to get energy from the sun doesn’t work when hit by the sun.

philoquin on September 4, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Which explains liberal energy policies… their entire ideology is based around things that don’t work with any degree of efficiency!

dominigan on September 5, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Problem: solar panels loose efficiency as they get hotter.

Count to 10 on September 4, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Use it as a parabolic trough.

DarkCurrent on September 5, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Problem: solar panels loose efficiency as they get hotter.
Count to 10 on September 4, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Use it as a parabolic trough.
DarkCurrent on September 5, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Just hang some ugly water tanks at the focal points, paint them flat black, and advertise as free hot street showers for the homeless.
Solves several problems at once, and also makes a new tourist attraction
/s

Marcola on September 5, 2013 at 4:39 PM