World's Biggest Lens? City Of London Skyscraper Blamed For Starting Fires & Melting Cars

by
Owen Poindexter
The designers of a 37-story building in the City of London may have failed to consider something. The curve of the building, when reflecting the sun at a certain angle, seems to produce a beam of magnified sunlight so intense it has been accused of starting fires and melting cars.

walkie talkie tower, fenchurch, melting cars
The "Walkie Talkie Tower" on Fenchurch street in the City of London (foreground) is accused of reflecting the sun and melting cars. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

A 37-story building in the City of London, called the “Walkie-Talkie tower” on account of its shape, may have failed to consider something in its architectural design. The curve of the building, when reflecting the sun at a certain angle, seems to produce a beam of magnified sunlight so intense it has been accused of starting fires and melting cars. One Jaguar owner said his vehicle was damaged by the powerful ray.

The building only blasts its heat ray for 2-3 hours a day for a few weeks each year. Still, that’s enough that construction work will likely be done to resolve the issue.

"We're not talking about major construction work," said one source familiar with the matter. "The options include things like films on some of the windows to disrupt the lens effect."

Whatever solution is chosen, people in the City of London won’t tolerate the powerful ray for much longer.

It was “like walking through a wall of heat,” said James Graham, a consultant at Hydrogen Group Plc. “I hope it hasn’t damaged my eyes.”

The most likely course of action is that a film will be painted on some of the windows to diffuse the light. One can’t help but wonder if the lens effect of the “Walkie Talkie tower” is being blamed for phenomena it has nothing to do with.

Incidentally, the City of London is not the same as London. The City of London, which houses the “Walkie Talkie tower” is a separate municipality within London that is one of the most important spots for international banking, and is a huge center for “offshore” banking, which is why the picture might look more like Dubai to you than London.

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