News

London skyscraper melts car

London skyscraper melts car

A man walks past suspended parking bays in front of the Walkie Talkie tower in London September 3, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

By Tom Bill

LONDON (Reuters) – The developers of a London skyscraper that reflects sunlight at such intense levels that it warped panels and melted mirrors on a parked car will not need to break the bank to fix the problem, a project source told Reuters.

The Walkie Talkie tower in the city’s insurance district, which is being developed by Canary Wharf Group and Land Securities, was blamed for damaging a nearby Jaguar car this week.

The architect was Uruguayan-born Rafael Vinoly and the building’s concave design means developers can squeeze more money from its larger upper floors, where rents are higher.

But the shape acts as a lens that reflects intense beams of sunlight for about two hours a day during two to three weeks of the year and developers are “evaluating long-term solutions”, they said in a statement on Monday.

“We’re not talking about major construction work,” the source said. “The options include things like films on some of the windows to disrupt the lens effect.”

Motorist Martin Lindsay told the BBC he had left his car for an hour opposite the building and returned to find the wing mirror, panels and Jaguar badge had “melted”.

“You can’t believe something like this would happen,” he said. “They’ve got to do something about it.”

It is not the first time a Vinoly building has been linked to intense rays of sunlight. The Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas allegedly produced intense areas of heat due to sunlight, according to reports in the U.S. media three years ago.

Nobody was immediately available for comment at Rafael Vinoly’s London office on Tuesday.

Canary Wharf Group, which is majority-owned by Songbird Estates, is also building the 37-storey tower, which developers hope will be two-thirds full when it opens next year.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Democrats Trying To Improve Performance

vote

Democratic activists from across the state are coming together in an effort to better prepare future candidates for election success.

in Local

Yankton Sales Tax Trend Positive

MoneyDollarsCoins

The positive sales tax trend for the City of Yankton is continuing.

in Local

Rounds Looking Forward To January

rounds

South Dakota Senator-elect Mike Rounds says he is glad the campaign is over, and he is looking forward to January in Washington.

in Local

Noem Opposes President’s Immigration Order

Kristi Noem 20513

President Obama told the American people that the time to change the nation's immigration system is now, and he's taking action to make that happen.

in Local

Gas Tax Increase Possible In Iowa

gaspump2

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says he's open to considering all options that might boost the amount of money available to fix Iowa's roads and bridges.