Since opening in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas has catalyzed the development of a new neighbourhood in the city. But one of the buildings that the museum helped attract to the area has become its biggest threat. Museum Tower, a 42-story condo high-rise, is clad in a glassy exterior that reflects sunlight onto the Nasher property, killing plants and ruining art. The tower is the latest of a growing number of architectural "death rays" popping up around the world.
The Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund (DPFF), the developer of Museum Tower, commissioned architecture firms REX and Front to come up with a design concept that would not alter the construction of either building. The proposed solution is Surya, a 57,600-square foot shade that "blossoms" in response to sunlight.
The shades of the structure are embedded within a structural ring and fixed in place using armature. It would still allow natural light to reach the Nasher's interior, but in a controlled way.
Whether Surya gets built remains to be seen, but it's a novel (if expensive) solution to a new urban problem. Here's another idea to keep in mind: try building with less reflective materials.