Walkie Talkie skyscraper: Faulty tower given sunscreen to stop it frying neighbourhood

Glass facade of the unfortunate curved building to be covered up as temperatures set to soar to 29C in the capital

It has been dubbed the “Walkie Scorchie”, the new addition to London's skyline which is inadvertently creating a dangerous heat ray threatening shops and businesses in the heart of the city.

And with temperatures set to soar to 29C in the capital on Thursday, the glass facade of the unfortunate curved building at 20 Fenchurch Street is to be covered up as an emergency measure.

In a statement last night, joint developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf said: "Following approval from the City of London, we will be erecting a temporary scaffold screen at street level on Eastcheap within the next 24 hours. This solution should minimise the impact on the local area over the next 2-3 weeks, after which time the phenomenon is expected to have disappeared."

They added: "We are also continuing to evaluate longer-term solutions to ensure this issue does not recur in future."

The solution was reached after crisis talks between council officials and developers, prompted by a spate of incidents of fire and damage from the heat ray, which has reached temperatures approaching 70C.

A man reacts to a shaft of intense sunlight reflected from the glass windows of the new A man reacts to a shaft of intense sunlight reflected from the glass windows of the new "Walkie Talkie" tower in central London

The glare created by the glass of the £200m building, previously nicknamed the "Walkie Talkie" because of its shape, has already melted the bodywork of vehicles in the street, set a bicycle seat smouldering and made pavements hot enough to fry an egg.

The use of nearby parking spaces have been suspended to prevent further damage to cars. Recent sunny days have seen the force of the heat cause a small fire in a local barber shop, and crack the slate tiles at the entrance to a local café.

Ali Akay, of Re Style barbers, said: "We were working and just saw the smoke coming out of the carpet. We tried to cut the fire down, there were customers in at the time and they were obviously not happy." And Diana Pham, 25, at the Viet Cafe, commented: "We thought something was burning in the restaurant but it wasn't, we searched everywhere ... a tile suddenly broke, the paint has bobbled too."

The tower has been designed by architect Rafael Viñoly. It is not the first time that one of his buildings has caused controversy – the glare reflected off the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas prompted a series of complaints from guests in 2010.

Last night experts claimed that safeguards to prevent such problems in London were dropped from early designs. Dr Philip Oldfield, an expert in tall buildings at the University of Nottingham's Department of Architecture, said: "It seems the original design included small horizontal balconies on the south façade rather than the continuous glass facade as built now. This would have surely mitigated any significant glare like we are seeing at the moment."

There are various options which could deal with the problem, including adding small "fins" to the building to provide shade, or even special coating to reduce the amount of sun reflected by the glass, he added.

Workers feel the heat as they walk through an area lit by reflecting sun glaring down from a new office building in the financial district Workers feel the heat as they walk through an area lit by reflecting sun glaring down from a new office building in the financial district

Crowds gather as a television crew try to fry an egg as the sun glares down from a new office building in the financial district Crowds gather as a television crew try to fry an egg as the sun glares down from a new office building in the financial district

Click here to see more images

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face

books
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from How To Train Your Dragon 2

Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigour

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone in Mockinjay: Part 1

film
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
A waxwork of Jane Austen has been unveiled at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath

books
Arts and Entertainment
Britney Spears has been caught singing without Auto-Tune

music
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips

music
Arts and Entertainment
Gay icons: Sesame Street's Bert (right) and Ernie

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton

music
Arts and Entertainment
The new film will be shot in the same studios as the Harry Potter films

books
Arts and Entertainment
Duncan Bannatyne left school at 15 and was still penniless at 29

Bannatyne leaves Dragon's Den

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote that global inequality has worsened

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck plays a despondent Nick Dunne in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty (L) and Carl Barât look at the scene as people begin to be crushed

music
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Caral Barat of The Libertines performs on stage at British Summer Time Festival at Hyde Park

music
Arts and Entertainment
Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea perform on stage at the Billboard Music Awards 2014

music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice