The owner of a luxury car Jaguar XJ parked his sweetheart across the street from the curvy 37 story glass-and-steel skyscraper designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly in London before an afternoon business meeting. Only two hours later, this car was giving off smells of melting and displaying clear signs of damage. The developers of the building who nicknamed it as “Walkie Talkie” for its distinctive shape, agreed to pay for the damages.
So how could skyscraper melt the car?
“Fundamentally it’s reflection,” Chris Shepherd of the Institute of Physics told the BBC “If a building creates enough of a curve with a series of flat windows, which act like mirrors, the reflections all converge at one point, focusing and concentrating the light.” The curves of “Walkie Talkie” skyscraper acted like a magnifying glass to concentrate the light on only one spot, the exact spot where Jaguar XJ was parked.
According to Kheir Al-Kodmany, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Walkie Talkie’s designers forgot about the fact that southern-facing building would generate a lot of heat. If it had been a northern-facing building, it would have been an issues. Luckily London isn’t a very sunny city.
“As we get more shiny, glassy metal buildings, reflected light will become a bigger deal,” John Frederick, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Chicago says. “The high reflection is good if you’re inside trying to keep intense sunlight out, but if you’re outside, you’ll be the recipient of that reflected light.” Well, sometimes it is just better to walk, leave your car safely parked at home and protect the environment.
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Silvia M.//SMC Editor
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Sources : theverge.com, popsci.com, nydailynews.com, googleimages