A 37 story London skyscraper under construction, called the “Walkie Talkie,” has been burning everything on Eastcheap Street from doormats and tiles to a Jaguar XJ with its countless mirror-like windows.
The owner of the vehicle, Martin Lindsay, returned to his car to find the luxury vehicle’s panels and wing mirror warped beyond repair. A photographer was taking photos of his car. Canary Wharf Group and Land Securities, the developers of the Walkie Talkie, had pinned a note to the dash stating: “Your car’s buckled, could you please give us a call?”
While he “could not believe” the extent of the damage, Lindsay gave the developers a call, finding support from the group.
“Canary Wharf Construction and Land Securities have been very good and agreed to pay for the damage, and accept that there is an issue they will resolve,” Lindsay told reporters at CNN.
According to the City AM Newspaper, light reflected from the building also damaged a van parked on the same street earlier that week.
Sophomore Kari Harmon expressed her opinion towards the melted vehicles. “I would first cry, and then be confused as to why my car melted. Then I’d be livid.”
Sophomore Lola Manley agreed. “I would be highly upset; I would most likely attempt to sue.”
Local businesses were also feeling the burn. Ali Akay, a barber across the street from the melted car, claimed the intense heat ignited his business doormat.
“We were working and just saw the smoke coming out of the carpet. We tried to cut the fire down. There where customers in at the time, and they were obviously not happy,” Akay told Fox News.
Another local business, the Viet Café, experienced cracked tiles from the immense “death ray” produced by the skyscraper. James Waterson from the City AM Newspaper was able to fry an egg in a frying pan over the cracked tiles covering the stairs in front of the building.
According to Fox News, a hotspot in the street near the building measured in at a blistering 196.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
Physicists are blaming the immense heat on the Walkie Talkie’s convex shape.
Chris Shepherd from the Institute of Physics said, “Fundamentally, it’s reflection. If a building creates enough of a curve with a series of flat windows, which act like mirrors, the reflections all converge at one point, focusing and concentrating the light.”
The developers, on the other hand, blame the phenomenon on the elevation of the sun in the sky saying, “It currently lasts about two hours per day, with initial modeling suggesting that it will be present for approximately two to three weeks.”
“I think this entire spectacle should be put on Mythbusters, like the ancient death ray,” said Sophomore Eriqua McGhee.
In the meantime, the developers have restricted three parking places on Eastcheap Street and erected a ten-foot by thirteen-foot black sun screen to protect nearby shops.
“The fact that the building created an oven effect, it was like a cake in a convention oven,” said Senior Rachel Manyo
The Walkie Talkie, located at 20 Fenchurch Street in London, is expected to be completed in March of 2014 and will contain over 33,000 meters of glass.
People have proposed many solutions for long term effects of the building’s reflection, including coating the windows with an anti-glare film and reworking the window frames to prevent the light from concentrating onto the street.
This is not the first time a building has been known to cause combustion and heat related issues.
The Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas was designed by Rafael Vinoly, the same architect who designed the Walkie Talkie. The glass siding on that building was so intense it melted cups, plastic bags, and caused sunburns and singed hair for visitors. Coined the Vdara death ray, problems subsided after an anti-reflective film was applied to the windows.