Plans unveiled to stop 'Walkie Talkie' skyscraper from melting cars

The sun reflects off the 'Walkie Talkie' building on Fenchurch Street
The sun reflects off the 'Walkie Talkie' building on Fenchurch Street Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

The owners of the 'Walkie Talkie' building in central London have unveiled a plan to stop the skyscraper melting cars and damaging local businesses.

Last September, the curved facade of the 37-storey building was found to act like a giant magnifying glass, reflecting sunlight on the pavement below.

News of the phenomenon spread around the world after the skyscraper melted parts of a Jaguar car and caused paint to blister and tiles to fall.

Damage to a Jaguar wing mirror caused by the reflected sunlight
Damage to a Jaguar wing mirror caused by the reflected sunlight Credit: Laura Lean/City AM

A scaffolding structure was erected over the pavement last summer to act as a temporary protective shade.

But now the building's owners, Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group, plan to install horizontal aluminium fins from floors three to 34.

The developers say the brise soleil system will "absorb and diffuse" the sunlight to stop it being concentrated on the street below.

A temporary scaffolding sun shade on the street below the building
A temporary scaffolding sun shade on the street below the building Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

As well as causing damage to cars and buildings, the giant magnifier created a heat bubble that could be felt by passers-by.

One man told ITV London that he recorded temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius on the pavement under the 'Walkie Talkie'.

An egg is fried in intense sunlight reflected from the Walkie Talkie building
An egg is fried in intense sunlight reflected from the Walkie Talkie building Credit: Andy Scofield/PA Wire

The plans for the brise soleil system have been submitted to the City of London for planning permission and, if approved, will take about six months to install.

The building on Fenchurch Street in London's financial district was nicknamed the Walkie-Talkie because of its shape. It is due to be completed in March 2014.