The Real Deal Los Angeles

“Death ray”? Filing alleges Wilshire Grand is covered in plastic-melting material

Challenge to building permit requests removal of glass facade
November 11, 2016 02:30PM

Wilshire Grand

A rendering of the Wilshire Grand tower by AC Martin

The glass that covers Korean Air’s almost-complete Wilshire Grand tower in Downtown Los Angeles is made of the same uber-reflective reflective material that caused a “death ray” at the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas, according to a filing obtained by Law360.

The filing challenges the tower’s building permit, alleging the material that encases the tower — called Viracon VRE 1-38 glass — is causing surrounding buildings and streets to overheat, Law360 reported. It requests that the city order the removal of the glass facade from the Wilshire Grand, which is now the tallest building in the Western United States.

The challenge was filed in late August by EYP Realty LLC, which owns a 41-story building nearby. EYP hired Curtainwall Design Consulting to analyze the material. The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, however, denied the request last month.

In 2010, guests of the Vdara claimed they were sunburned by reflections off the Viracon on the curved exterior of the hotel. Several years ago, in Dallas, light hit the Viracon on the Museum tower, causing art inside the museum to melt. [Law360]  — Hannah Miet