Rafael Viñoly no stranger to “fryscrapers”

TRD New York /
Sep.September 03, 2013 05:51 PM

Rafael Viñoly, the Uruguayan-born architect who designed the new London building that’s now frying eggs across the street because of its intense reflection, is the same architect who designed another notorious “fry-scraper” in Las Vegas years ago.

In 2010, guests of Viñoly’s Vdara Hotel and Spa at MGM’s Aria began complaining of severe burns from the glare being reflected off the building’s facade.

“It felt like I had a chemical burn. I couldn’t imagine why my head was burning,” the Daily Mail quoted one lawyer as saying. “Within 30 seconds, the back of my legs were burning. My first thought was, ‘Jesus, they destroyed the ozone layer!'”

Viñoly’s website boasts of Vdara’s  “slender profile and curvature, which responds to Harmon Circle and the interlocking arcs of the ARIA hotel complex located across the shared circular drive. Three parallel, offset arcs rising to varying heights comprise the crescent-shaped skyscraper.”

Similar curvature is being blamed for the current situation in London.

The Mail went on to report that Viñoly “foresaw the issue with the reflecting sun but thought they had solved it by installing a high-tech film on the south-facing panes of glass,” but that an MGM spokesman had conceded the measures fell short.

We just got the following comment on the London situation, but are awaiting further clarification on how a repeat occurred:

A joint statement from Land Securities and Canary Wharf on 20 Fenchurch Street:

“We are taking the issue of light reflecting from 20 Fenchurch Street seriously, and are looking into the matter as a priority.

“The phenomenon is caused by the current elevation of the sun in the sky. It currently lasts for approximately 2 hours per day, with initial modeling suggesting that it will be present for approximately 2-3 weeks.

“As responsible developers we are making every effort to keep local businesses informed and we have communicated with them regularly since the issue first appeared. While we investigate the situation further we have liaised with the City of London to suspend three parking bays in the area which may be affected.

“In addition, we are consulting with local businesses and the City to address the issue in the short-term, while also evaluating longer-term solutions to ensure the issue cannot recur in future.”


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