The architect behind the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ skyscraper, which has been blamed for melting cars and scorching door mats, had similar problems with a hotel he designed in Las Vegas, it has been revealed.
The developers of the half-finished 37-storey tower at Fenchurch Street, in central London, were today due to put up a temporary screen to prevent any further damage by reflecting the sun’s rays.
As temperatures were set to soar to 29C, developers Land Securitas and Canary Wharf were to carry out the emergency measures after angry business owners in Eastcheap claimed the £200 million project had blistered paintwork, caused tiles to smash and singed fabric.
The skyscraper has also been blamed for melting part of a Jaguar car and the rays were hot enough to fry an egg.
It has now emerged the building’s Uruguayan-born architect Rafael Vinoly also designed the Vdara Hotel, in Las Vegas, where a ‘death ray’ of sunlight, caused by the design of the building, allegedly left guests with severe burns in September 2010.
The new building in London, dubbed the ‘Walkie Talkie’ because of its distinctive shape, is now being called the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ because of the effect of the heat from the sun’s rays in the next street.
The developers have previously said they were working to prevent the ‘phenomenon’, caused by the current elevation of the sun in the sky, from taking place.
In a joint statement last night they said: ‘Following approval from the City of London, we will be erecting a temporary scaffold screen at street level on Eastcheap within the next 24 hours.
‘This solution should minimise the impact on the local area over the next two-to-three weeks, after which time the phenomenon is expected to have disappeared.
‘We are also continuing to evaluate longer-term solutions to ensure this issue does not recur in future.
‘We have liaised extensively with local businesses to keep them informed throughout. We have decided on this course of action with their input and agreement.’
Three parking bays are also to remain suspended after cars parked in them were affected.
The building’s concave design means developers can squeeze more money from its larger upper floors, which promise to offer maginificant views over London.