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Monday Watercooler


Tonight’s music video is “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” covered by the Del McCoury Band from the DVD All Star Bluegrass Celebration.

A photo of the crystal-like structure of the Shard in London, towering over other skyscrapers.

The Shard: Where the bourgeois come to be seen.

Oops. Gizmodo reports that the design of a fancy London hotel skyscraper, the Shard, allows visitors to see into neighboring rooms.

But visitors at the newly-opened hotel inside of the Shard are being creeped out by the bizarre effects of a simple design flaw—which reflects the view inside of certain rooms directly onto the windows of nearby guests at night.

According to The Guardian, a mistake in architect Renzo Piano’s detailing means that visitors to the Shangri-La Hotel are getting a perfect view into other rooms. And this isn’t your average Rear Window-type of situation you might find at hotels like the Standard in Manhattan, where guests knowingly show off inside of their glass-walled rooms. Because, in this case, visitors don’t realize they’re on display.

You see, the edges of Piano’s Shard jut out past the flat planes of the building’s facade—it’s a formal flourish that gives the building its crystalline appearance. But when the lights are on in any given room, the projecting glass edges act as mirrors beaming a reflection of one room’s interior onto the windows of another.

The Guardian reports that the hotel hasn’t been very successful:

Despite the stunning design by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and glamorous marketing, as recently as January it remained practically a shell almost a year after its opening. Ten apartments, designed to pull in some of the richest people on the planet with price tags of £30m to £50m each, lie empty and are still for sale just as the so-called ultra-prime London property market seems to be slowing.

Maybe the hotel owners should turn this bug into a feature, or a marketing opportunity … Visit the Shard and show us what you got!

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Photo by Patrick Collins released under a Creative Commons No Derivatives license.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and