LONDON (AP) — Some love it, others hate it. London’s newest skyscraper has divided opinion, but now it’s really heating things up — literally.
Developers of the unfinished “Walkie-Talkie” building — so called because of its shape — said Tuesday they are investigating the way the building reflects sunlight, after claims that the intense glare melted parts of a luxury car parked nearby and caused a small fire outside a shop.
Businessman Martin Lindsay told the BBC that his Jaguar’s mirror, panels and badge had all melted from the concentrated heat of sunlight reflected from the building.
“It was parked for a couple hours in the city … and it’s completely warped,” he said. “It’s absolutely ruined.”
A barber shop owner also claimed that the glare burned a hole in his company doormat.
“We were working and just saw the smoke coming out of the carpet,” said Ali Akay. “This is a health and safety issue. They should have looked into this before they built it.”
The half-finished 37-story tower is one of the most distinctively shaped skyscrapers in London’s financial district. The building is expected to be completed in 2014.
In a joint statement, developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf said they are investigating and taking the matter seriously.
“The phenomenon is caused by the current elevation of the sun in the sky,” they explained, adding that the problem lasts about two hours a day and is expected to continue for another two to three weeks.
The companies are evaluating long-term solutions to solve the problem, and in the meantime have asked authorities to suspend parking in three spaces in the area that may be affected, the statement said.