London skyscraper 'melting' cars with scorching ray of light
Experts flabbergasted as Walkie Talkie building reflects 70°C sun glare onto Fenchurch Street
A LONDON skyscraper nicknamed the ‘Walkie Talkie' because of its concave shape has reportedly been "melting" vehicles with a scorching ray of light.
The curved shape of the 37-storey building, 20 Fenchurch Street, has been reflecting an "ultra-bright" beam of sunlight onto the street, reports City AM.
Martin Lindsay, the director of a tiling company, parked his Jaguar XJ outside the £200m building in central London's Eastcheap last week. He came back an hour later to find a smell of burning plastic, his wing mirror warped in the heat and several buckled panels.
Other drivers have since claimed their vehicles have wilted in the same spot. Eddie Cannon, a heating and air conditioning engineer, said his Vauxhall Vevaro suffered a similar fate. "The van looks a total mess – every bit of plastic on the left hand side and everything on the dashboard has melted, including a bottle of Lucozade that looks like it has been baked," he said.
The 525ft skyscraper, now dubbed the ‘Walkie Scorchie', was designed by architect Rafael Vinoly. The building's developers, Land Securities and Canary Wharf, said they were "evaluating longer-term solutions to ensure the issue cannot recur in future".
As a precautionary measure, the City of London has agreed to suspend three parking bays in the area which may be affected.
But Dr Philip Oldfield, an expert in tall buildings at the University of Nottingham's Department of Architecture, warns that the light will not always fall on that part of the street.
"The sun angle will change through the next weeks and months - and in the winter the localised hotspot will have moved substantially," he said.
City AM went back to the spot yesterday and measured the temperature, which was 70°C at around 2pm. Oldfield said he was "flabbergasted" by the heat and described it as unprecedented at street level. ·