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Designers Hot and Bothered Over How To Repel Death Ray

The Vdara Hotel and Spa at CityCenter in Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the newest hotels on that city’s famous Strip.  This beautiful and modern all-suite hotel is LEED Gold certified and offers the latest technology such as in-room media hubs, beautiful views, an impressive fine art collection and a relaxing atmosphere.  Recently, however, its spectacular pool area and distinctive crescent shaped façade have been drawing the most attention.

It seems that the south facing curve of the building acts to converge sunlight and focus it onto an area where the temperature then rises significantly as compared to other areas in the sunlight, in the same way that a magnifying glass can concentrate sunlight to create more heat on a surface.  According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the poolside “hot spot” has singed hair and melted plastic cups and bags, scoring it the term “Vdara Death Ray” from hotel employees and guests. 

Evident for a few hours each sunny day, the spot moves across the pool area as the sun advances across the sky.  Therein lies the problem.  Hotel owners and designers must determine how to reduce the harmful effects of a target which is moving.  An AolNews article today quoted MGM Resorts spokesman Gordon Absher on the topic:

“Hotel management is dealing with our corporate designers to find ways to create a little more consistent shade, but pools are tricky.  Building a huge shade structure is not the answer because some people want the sun.  And the sun is constantly moving.  It's quite literally an astronomical challenge.  We're looking for an aesthetically pleasing way to balance sun and shade features, a means for us to create more shade on that deck.”

It will be interesting to see what creative solutions can be found for this unique challenge.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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