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‘Walkie Scorchie’ solution submitted for planning

Plans to add brises soleil to cut glare from London’s Walkie Scorchie tower have been submitted to the City of London

Rafael Viñoly Architects has drawn up amendments which will see the grills attached to the south elevation of the skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street.

Horizontal aluminium louvres will be installed from level three to level 34 of the 37-storey tower.

The tower was dubbed the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ last summer after rays reflected from the building’s concave glazing onto a patch of street below were blamed for melting a car and causing damage to shops.

A scaffold screen had to be erected on Eastcheap by joint developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf to protect adjacent properties.

The BRE was commissioned to review the effects of the concentrated solar rays being reflected from the tower, giving recommendations for how they could be tackled.

Once planning permission is granted, the project to fit the fins is expected to take around six months, with the building due to complete in the summer.

Previous story (AJ 14.11.13)

Land Securities to take the heat out of Vinoly’s ‘Walkie Scorchie’

Land Securities is about to install a system to cut the solar glare of its Rafael Vinoly-designed ‘Walkie Talkie’ building

The developer said the cost of dealing with the solar glare from the southern façade of the 20 Fenchurch Street, which prompted its alternative ‘Walkie Scorchie’ nickname, would not exceed its unused contingency fund for the property – reported sister title Construction News.

The rays reflected from the building onto a patch of street below were blamed for melting plastic parts of a parked car during the summer.

The developer said the solution to the problem was in the final stages of design and installation would start ‘shortly’.

Land Securities said the change would not increase its forecast development cost for the scheme and that handover of the pre-let floors should go ahead on schedule in April 2014.

It said total development cost for the building, which it owns jointly with Canary Wharf Group, would be £239 million.

The statement was part of Land Securities’ accounts for the six months to 30 September.

The firm’s revenue for the half year rose from £303.6 million in 2012 to £347.8 million this year.

Its pre-tax profits shot up from £131.1 million to £397.9 million but the 2013 figure included a £166 million gain on revaluation of investment properties.

Rents on shopping centres and shops were up 0.2 per cent, retail warehouses and food stores were down 1.8 per cent and leisure and hotels were up 1.4 per cent.

Retail voids rose from 2.9 per cent to 3.0 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Land Securities has applied for planning permission to develop Ealing Filmworks, a cinema-led leisure, retail and residential scheme and for the redevelopment of the Westgate Centre, Oxford, in a joint venture with The Crown Estate.

It got planning permission for a 363,000 sq ft scheme in Selly Oak, in a joint venture with Sainsbury’s and has applied for planning permission for a scheme in Maidstone which already has pre-let agreements with Debenhams and Waitrose.

It reported voids of 1.1 per cent on London offices and no like for like voids in central London shops. Land Securities got planning permission to redevelop Oxford House, which has since been sold, and to convert Portland House in SW1 to residential use. It said it was like to develop 1 New Street Square, EC4, and 20 Eastbourne Terrace, W2, with completion by 2016 but had yet to make a final decision. In London it was likely to sell more properties than it acquired this year.

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