Gransnet forums


To expect basic science from architects?

(47 Posts)
JessM Tue 03-Sep-13 12:28:26

Story in the news today about the plastic bits on a Jag getting melted by the rays reflected from a new tower block in London.
Every 14 year old gets taught that if you have a concave mirror it will focus light on a particular spot, where, exactly, depending on the curvature of the mirror. So if you build a big shiny building with a concave wall, it's going to function as a mirror, right? They seem to be trying to blame the angle of the sun, which is also a somewhat predictable scientific phenomenon. Or did they do the calculations and decide it would be OK because the focal point was in mid air somewhere and forget that the angle of the sun changes?
This got past lots of architects and planners, some of whom, surely, passed their GCSE in science?

j08 Wed 04-Sep-13 18:06:52

I did n' t know they had plastic on Jags.

gracesmum Wed 04-Sep-13 18:10:58

I thought it was metal too. Like the energy saving potential of frying eggs without using a cooker..........grin

Lona Wed 04-Sep-13 19:21:06

Not saying all architects are numptys J52, just this one as J08 said.
Why would he make the same glaring (see what I did there?) mistake twice?
Who pays for their mistakes?

MargaretX Wed 04-Sep-13 19:55:10

Perhaps too little presence during the building process is required of them. A friend in Germany is an architect and she spends hours and days on windy building sites and is held responsible for the house she planned.

I know they can be annoying. I grew up in a Sheffield Council house with a kitchen shelf for pots and pans too high to reach, even standing on tiptoe. My mother threw the frying pan up onto the shelf and got quite good at it. Sometimes she missed and a whole lot of pans came down again. I think she would have really strangled that architect because she threatened to do it often enough.

JessM Wed 04-Sep-13 20:32:47

Doctors bury their mistakes and architects cover theirs with ivy (as someone once remarked)

Jendurham Thu 05-Sep-13 00:09:49

Architects spend about 50% of their time on building sites making sure the builders do as asked in the drawings. They have to take out indemnity insurance for any mistakes. An interesting corollary is that members of their family are also deemed to be responsible now. If my husband had worked for himself, Now that he's dead I would be held responsible. That does not happen to doctors, even though their wives often work for them.

I do not think the architect is responsible for what the occupant decides to put on a kitchen shelf. I am sure there were other cupboards where your mother could put her pots and pans, MargaretX.

janeainsworth Thu 05-Sep-13 08:08:24

Any other Frank Lloyd Wright fans out there?
We visited the Pope-Leighey house on one of our Virginia trips - fabulous.
Not sure I'd have wanted to live in it though wink

Stansgran Thu 05-Sep-13 08:52:23

But aren't they very problematical to maintain? I was visiting the Glasgow school of art on a tour and we were talking about the houses in Chicago which I had visited. An American on th same tour told me that the engineering side of the structures was causing problems.

Stansgran Thu 05-Sep-13 08:58:24

I may be wrong but Richard Rogers house on the ile St. Louis was pointed out to me. A beautiful elegant C18 Building which bears no resemblance to the stuff he inflicts on us. BTW I live in an architect designed house and its taken me about twenty odd years to make it live able in. But I think architects are becoming more realistic.

j08 Thu 05-Sep-13 08:59:44

I do that with my frying pan MargaretX! Only it lives on the top of the wall cupboard. Gets harder to reach as I get shorter, too!

That was nothing to do with the architect though. He didn't design the kitchen.

JessM Thu 05-Sep-13 09:13:51

I think they vary, don't they, architects. I did take pleasure in giving out a little to my BIL (architect) about the terrible toilet design in a small Irish airport... My only chance to berate the architect in person grin

Lona Thu 05-Sep-13 09:25:30

It seems that they have erected a sun screen now in front of the shops that were being scorched by the 'walkie scorchie' building.

Elegran Thu 05-Sep-13 09:42:03

Instead of screening the shops, they could have added some kind of collecting dish at the focal point just in front of the mirror, and got some solar energy out of it. Possibly provided heating for the building, that would have gained the architect some brownie points instead of made them a laughing stock.

j08 Thu 05-Sep-13 09:56:02

And......... today is forecast to be the last of the hot sunshine. grin

Shouldn' t laugh.

Lona Thu 05-Sep-13 10:00:15


JessM Thu 05-Sep-13 12:39:27

And beamed it back at the building elegran ? grin

Elegran Thu 05-Sep-13 12:55:24

Or at the architect's backside?

gracesmum Thu 05-Sep-13 14:27:10

)( grin

janeainsworth Thu 05-Sep-13 17:04:41

Really, gracesmum!! grin

J52 Fri 06-Sep-13 10:01:23

Apparently, there was a different design that incorporated outside shades for the windows. The client wanted to cut costs and decided to dispense with them, despite the architect's advice. X

FlicketyB Fri 06-Sep-13 10:20:33

Corbusier designed a lot of housing. Of course there are really good architects and I can think of many beautiful modern buildings that fit their purpose and are a pleasure to look at and be in but the problem is that so often it is the Rogers, Fosters et al who influence public policy and feel that they should dictate to us what sort of buildings we should live in and use.