Walkie Talkie building: A skyscraper in London, dubbed the “Walkie-Talkie” building because of its shape, is coming under some literal intense heat these days. A luxury car owner has blamed the unfinished 37-story building of melting parts of his Jaguar, reports The Associated Press on Sept. 3.
The skyscraper’s all-glass and angled exterior acts as a light refractor, focusing and reflecting the light onto the city streets below, much like a magnifying glass can concentrate and zoom sunlight onto a single spot.
In this case, the single spot happened to be businessman Martin Lindsay’s Jaguar, who claimed his Jag’s inside mirror and interior panels had melted after being parked for the day on Eastcheap St. in downtown London.
“It's completely warped. It's absolutely ruined,” Lindsay said. “I've been told the damage is about £1,000 ($1,500)”
The Jag was not the only sunburned casualty. Although significantly less expense, a nearby barbershop owner discovered a hole burned through his shop’s welcome mat.
“We were working and just saw the smoke coming out of the carpet,” said Ali Akay. “This is a health and safety issue. They should have looked into this before they built it.”
Building developer Land Securities and Canary Wharf offered a bit of a scientific explanation.
“The phenomenon is caused by the current elevation of the sun in the sky,” the company explained in a statement, saying that once the position of the earth changes seasonally in relation to the sun – in approximately two to three weeks – the danger will pass.
In the interim, while the company explores “a long-term solution,” they have asked that London authorities rope off parking spots that are directly affected by the building’s sun reflections.