The Walkie Talkie “Solar Glare” Building

Dubbed as the “Walkie Scorchie” and “Fryscraper,” 20 Frenchurch Street is a commercial skyscraper in London, designed by Rafael Vinoly. This building received its names after citizens reportedly discover that is the cause of high temperature rise across the streets of Eastchip. During the Summer of 2013, the reflection of a light beam was six times brighter than normal, which lead to the damage of streets and parked vehicles.

What caused the building to do so much damage? Its concave shape.

The concave shape of the building was channeling the sun’s rays into a concentrated beam onto Eastcheap, capable of singeing carpets, blistering paintwork and even melting parts of a car’s bodywork.

According to an article from The Guardian, the architect has admitted that the created structure may reflect sun rays to the streets below, but did not realize that the temperature of the reflection was very hot. The builders also knew what would happen; however, they were lacking of tools and software that would analyze the problem.

Later on during the final construction, workers have fitted the 37-story building with a ‘sunshade’ to deflect the rays.

Coincidentally, Vinoly also designed the Vdara hotel in Las Vegas. This building reportedly has a similar sunlight reflection problem that some employees called the “Vdara death ray.”

Recently, The Walkie Talkie building opened its Sky Garden, which is promised to be the capital’s newest public park overlooking UK’s capital city.


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