CityCenter-Based Vegas Hotel Also a Plastic Melting, Hair Burning ‘Death Ray’

Earlier this week we were talking about critic Paul Goldberger‘s great piece in the New Yorker about Las Vegas’ CityCenter development and what it meant to the city to suddenly have this impressive collection of new buildings by world famous architects and designers right at its, pardon the pun, center. While, per usual, he was able to put the whole project into a larger context, it’s odd that he didn’t talk about how one of its most prominent buildings is trying to kill all those who come near it. The windows of the Vdara Hotel, owned by MGM and a portion of the CityCenter development, apparently catch the sunlight just so that, at times, redirects incredibly powerful beams of light right toward its pool area. So strong is this light that it’s singed hair and melted plastic bags. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that employees call it the “Vdara death ray.” The building was designed by architect Rafael Vinoly and built, as always with large projects like these, by a team of firms. Somewhere along the way, it’s reported that the designers knew about the issue and placed a protective film over the windows to help absorb some of the light. Unfortunately, if you’re not originally from that desert climate, it’s nearly impossible to try and design for it correctly (see also: Richard Meier‘s courthouse in Phoenix). The good news is that the hotel and its developers plan to try and fix the issue as soon as they’re able. In the interim, if you have plans to visit, we recommend following the wise words of Mary Schmich (or by way of director Baz Luhrmann‘s version) and always wear sunscreen.