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Editor: Stephen Clowney
Univ. of Kentucky College of Law

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Monday, September 9, 2013

A Brief History of Buildings That Melt Things

Gizmodo offers a pictorial history buildings that set things alight:

In London this week, a parabolic "death ray" of sunshine—reflected off of London's newest skyscraper—is destroying luxury cars, starting fires, and frying eggs for comedic effect (oh, England). It's a sensational story, but this isn't the first time an architectural laser has literally burned the hair off of passersby.

The offending tower—better know as 20 Fenchurch Street, or "the Walkie-Talkie"—was designed by Rafael Vinoly, a Uruguayan architect based in New York. What some outlets (though not Wikipedia editors) failed to mention? This isn't architect Rafael Vinoly's first time at the architectural death ray rodeo. Back in 201o, guests at the newly-completed Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas reported that the reflection from the glassy facade was "singing the hair" of swimmers at the adjacent pool.

Even outside of Vinoly's oeuvre, buildings that act like lasers are not unheard of. In fact, there's practically a whole legal industry devoted to them. Don your sunglasses and let's take a look.

Steve Clowney

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