Monday, May 20, 2024
Home Latest The iconic London skyscraper that created a "solar death ray" so scorching...

The iconic London skyscraper that created a “solar death ray” so scorching hot it melted a car

A death ray sounds more like something from a comic book or Bond movie than something that could happen in real life.

But that is exactly what a skyscraper in London produced because of its perhaps thoughtful design.

20 Fenchurch Street, better known by the colloquial name “Walkie Talkie”, was completed in the spring of 2014 at a cost of over £ 200 million.

The building, designed by the architect Rafael Viñoly, has a distinctive shape that makes the top of the building appear to bulge outwards.

On the top four of the 38 floors of the building there is a large viewing platform, a bar and several restaurants.

The glare from the sun at some point in the day meant that a 117C beam shot out of the glass onto the street below

Originally proposed to be 200m high, the height was reduced to 160m in the final construction and the unconventional design raised many concerns about the impact on the surrounding area.

When completed in 2015, it won the Carbuncle Award for worst building in Britain built that year.

Continue reading
Continue reading

However, this was the least of the problem with the building. The developers found out in 2013 that what they had built essentially directed a solar beam of death onto the streets below.

Due to the concave shape of the building on one side, the sun bounced off it like a mirror for up to two hours a day, with temperatures of up to 117 ° C being measured on the streets below.

The developers even had to pay £ 946 to a car owner after the vehicle’s body melted under the beam.

The Walkie Scorchie, as it was once called

Another store nearby suffered a burned doormat, and a reporter even managed to fry an egg in a pan that was on the floor under the “death ray”.

The controversy led to the building being referred to as the “Walkie Scorchie” and “Fryscraper” by those with a good eye for puns.

Perhaps most incredible was that the architect in charge, Rafael Viñoly, had the exact same problem earlier when he designed the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas, which had its own death ray.

MyLondon’s brilliant new newsletter, The 12, is packed with news, views, features and opinions from around the city.

We’ll send you a free 12-story email around noon every day to keep you entertained, informed, and enlivened. It’s the perfect midday reading.

The MyLondon team tells London stories for Londoners. Our 45 journalists cover all the news you need – from town hall to your local streets.

Don’t miss a moment by signing up for the 12 newsletter here.

Obviously he hadn’t learned from the problem and even blamed global warming for the fact that there weren’t that many hot days when he first arrived in London.

The problem in the Walkie Talkie building was soon fixed with an awning on the side of the tower, but I doubt many Londoners will forget the time when the capital was struck by a solar death ray.


Most Popular

Recent Comments