This 38 storey structure that plays a part in defining London’s skyline has caused quite a few problems for the dwellers on ground level.
The building nicknamed the Walkie-Talkie for its look was originally designed to be a contender for the tallest building at 200m in the UK around the time the idea was conceived. The plans were rejected as there were concerns about the building’s impact on St Paul’s Cathedral, so the height was reduced to 160m.
All precautions were taken to ensure that all regulations for a skyscraper in London were complied with, but there was one issue that was missed that no-one expected.
On a particularly sunny day a London resident was visiting a store and parked his car outside, after roughly an hour he turned to his vehicle and saw that his wing mirror had melted, the body of the driver’s door has warped and buckled and the smell of burning plastic was in the air.
After some research the cause of the problem was unexpectedly blamed on the Walkie-Talkie building, due to the design of the building, sunlight was refracted off of the reflective windows and directed downwards by the concave on one side of the building which created a strong sun spot that was focused enough to generate heat.
The sun spot was powerful enough to melt the wing mirror and warp the metal door frames! After this story hit the media people would gather to check it out, some people even managed to cook eggs using the sun spot.
Shortly after the problem was discovered the architects began designing countermeasures, the chosen solution was to cover the reflective windows with a brise-soleil (sun-breaker). Luckily the brise-soleil didn’t make much of an impact to the look of the building and also stopped the sun spots.
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