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The power of light.

Images: Rafael Viňoly Architects.

The tower under construction at 20 Fenchurch Street London, is known colloquially as the “Walkie Talki”. Designed by Rafael Viňoly Architects, it was first unveiled in 2007 to some controversy owing to its unusual form and what was considered its excessive height. The global financial crisis delayed construction, but now its super structure is around three quarters complete, it is back in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

 

A characteristic of the design is that it has a curved façade. This has the potential to focus the sun's rays which has reportedly manifest itself, in London's summer weather, as a powerful light beam centred in the street below. Temperatures yesterday were reported as reaching 70 degrees centigrade! It is believed that the light beam is responsible for melting parts of cars, and for creating unbearable conditions in the affected street and local shops.

It is reported that the architect and developer are considering possible solutions.

Christopher C. Hill.

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