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Viñoly's Walkie Talkie accused of melting cars

The City of London has suspended three parking bays following reports that sunlight reflected from Rafael Viñoly’s skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street is melting cars

It has been widely reported that several cars and vans parked in the City of London have been melted by rays reflected off the curved facade of the 37-storey tower.

CityAM reported that the bodywork panels of a Jaguar XJ owned by Martin Lindsay, a director of a tiling company, were left warped after he parked the car on Eastcheap last Thursday.

Joint developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf are said too be investigating the issue. A statement from the developers said: ‘We are aware of concerns regarding the light reflecting from 20 Fenchurch Street and are looking into the matter.

‘As a precautionary measure, the City of London has agreed to suspend three parking bays in the area which may be affected.’

According to the developers the light beam at this time of year lasts about two hours a day and preliminary modeling indicates it will be present for two to three weeks.

The incident has the hair-singeing whiff of the Viñoly-designed Vdara Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas, dubbed the ‘Death Ray Hotel’ in 2010 after guests complained the glass skyscraper was magnifying and reflecting the sun’s rays onto the pool deck, causing hot spots, sunburns and melting plastic bags.

Already more than half-let, the scheme at 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London is due to complete next May. The project, once nicknamed the Walkie-Talkie has now been christened the Walkie-Scorchie by the tabloid press.


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