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Design is never as straightforward as we might think. There are so many factors that need to be considered when arriving at a suitable design solution. Design is not only about the way things look; you have to exhaustively consider all aspects of how the users interact with the space and how the building interacts with the environment itself.

Case in point – the Vdara Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas. Recently, they have run into issues with rising temperatures surrounding their outdoor pool. These extreme temperatures are a result of the combination of the shape of the building, the materials used to clad the structure, and the location of the pool.

The Hotel’s employees have nicknamed this effect the “Vdara death ray”. The building forms a half-moon shape around the pool, and at just the right time of day, the sun’s rays hit the rounded reflective glass surface and direct heat towards unknowing bathers on the pool deck. The result? Temperatures hot enough to melt plastic cups!

Oh yes, just another issue building designers must consider! Luckily, the Vdara Hotel plans to add shading to protect bathers.

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