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Glare from London skyscraper 'melted a Jaguar'

united kingdom luxury car fenchurch street concave shape focusing sunlight

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#1 Hum

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:08

A British property developer said Tuesday it was investigating after rays deflected by a skyscraper melted the side of a businessman's luxury Jaguar car.

Londoners have been shielding their eyes from the blinding glare reflected from the glass facade of 20 Fenchurch Street -- nicknamed the Walkie Talkie because of its flared shape -- while several drivers have complained that the beam has melted parts of their vehicles.

Local businessman Martin Lindsay said he was distraught when he returned to his parked Jaguar XJ near the tower in London's financial district to find the car's panels had warped along one side, while the wing mirror and Jaguar emblem on the front of the car had melted.

"On the windscreen, there was a note from the construction company saying 'your car's buckled, could you give us a call?'" Lindsay told the BBC.

He "could not believe" the extent of the damage, he added.

Developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group have apologised and paid for the damage, while three car parking spaces near the tower have been taken out of use.

Eddie Cannon, a heating and air conditioning engineer, said the so-called "death ray" had melted parts of his van.

"The van looks a total mess -- every bit of plastic on the left hand side and everything on the dashboard has melted, including a bottle of Lucozade that looks like it has been baked," he told the City A.M. newspaper.

The developers said in a statement: "We are taking the issue of light reflecting from 20 Fenchurch Street seriously, and are looking into the matter as a priority."

The companies are "evaluating longer-term solutions" while consulting with local businesses to address the issue in the meantime, they added.

Physicists have suggested that the concave shape of the "walkie-talkie" is responsible for the problem, focusing sunlight into a concentrated beam.

The Times newspaper said that temperatures near the tower exceeded 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) on Monday.

The developers said the phenomenon was caused by "the current elevation of the sun in the sky", and that as temperatures cool when autumn begins the problem should disappear.

"It currently lasts for approximately two hours per day, with initial modelling suggesting that it will be present for approximately two to three weeks," they said.

The 37-floor office block is due to be completed in March 2014.

The design has met with mixed reactions in London, with some complaining that its squat shape is a blot on the city skyline.

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#2 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:12

You build a concave shape, you cover it with glass, and then you wonder why it works as a focussing reflector?

 

Dummies!



#3 Growled

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:12

Maybe he should sue god for too much sunlight. :p



#4 Brian M.

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:17


"It currently lasts for approximately two hours per day, with initial modelling suggesting that it will be present for approximately two to three weeks," they said
.
 

 

Yeah, until next year.

 

That thing is insane. I walked past there the other day - it's like getting off of an airplane in a hot country.



#5 KingCracker

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:19

Well i'd think this wouldn't be such an issue since England rarely see's sunlight.  :shifty:



#6 OP Hum

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:22

Someone wasn't thinking too well about this design.

 

I don't see how to fix it, other than give the building 'sunglasses' ... polarized glass.

 

Or maybe vents over the windows, reflecting light, upwards.



#7 The Dark Knight

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:28

Now I've heard everything....a building melting cars!!  :laugh:  :rofl:



#8 +techbeck

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:31

well, put a towel down and get a nice tan.  :p



#9 KingCracker

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:31

Someone wasn't thinking too well about this design.

 

I don't see how to fix it, other than give the building 'sunglasses' ... polarized glass.

 

Or maybe vents over the windows, reflecting light, upwards.

28mpmva.jpg



#10 Charisma

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:34

Maybe he should sue god for too much sunlight. :p

To be fair, nobody expected that in England :laugh:



#11 tsupersonic

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:35

I read this a few days ago - what a terrible design. Luckily I hear its rarely sunny in England anyways :p Good to hear the building company is paying for repairs.



#12 arachnoid

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:40

Myth Busters should be on call to sort out any burning ships  :woot:  :laugh: :D



#13 dangel777

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:43

I read this a few days ago - what a terrible design. Luckily I hear its rarely sunny in England anyways :p Good to hear the building company is paying for repairs.

 

It's 29C in London today... it's been a damn good Summer overall..

 

Well, except if you're near this building maybe..



#14 FlintyV

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 18:01

Well i'd think this wouldn't be such an issue since England rarely see's sunlight.  :shifty:

 

I read this a few days ago - what a terrible design. Luckily I hear its rarely sunny in England anyways :p Good to hear the building company is paying for repairs.

 

Hah rarely sunny in England? 

Where do you get your weather reports from the Stereotype Daily? 



#15 Crisp

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 18:07

Nothing to do with the building, it's Aliens.