Walkie Talkie building in London to have 'death ray' problem fixed

Developers are hoping they will be given permission to install light-absorbing fins on the building

Kashmira Gander
Thursday 13 February 2014 23:58
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A man takes a photograph as the sun glares down from the Walkie Talkie building.
A man takes a photograph as the sun glares down from the Walkie Talkie building.

A 500ft skyscraper in central London that melted cars on the pavement below it, is to be fixed.

The owners of the so-called Walkie Talkie building have applied to the City of London for permission to install sun-shading structures on floors three and 34, to prevent a repeat of the “death-ray” situation last summer.

If allowed, Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group will add a series of horizontal aluminium fins along the southern side of the building.

At the time, the BBC reported that a temperature reading on the street outside was over 90 Celsius.

Solar glare reflecting from the 37-storey building, officially known as 20 Fenchurch Street, started fires, caused damage to businesses, and blistered paintwork on cars.

In September, a temporary screen was erected at street level to stop any further damage.

In 2003, Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles encountered similar problems because it was clad entirely in stainless steel.

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