A Design Flaw Is Turning the London Shard Hotel Into a Voyeur's Dream

You'd think staying in the tallest skyscraper in London would afford you some privacy. 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 hotel's manager, presumably in a state of extreme panic, had the following to say about the little issue: "In some rooms, due to the unique shape of the Shard, guests may be able to glimpse into a neighbour's room. For this, blinds are available for guest privacy." That's a sadly earnest comment—after all, here in New York, hotels actually use exhibitionism as a sales pitch. [The Guardian]

Lead: mikecphoto.