A system of light-deflecting fins will be installed on 20 Fenchurch Street to stop the building focussing the sun’s rays. The skyscraper, popularly known as the Walkie Talkie building, hit the headlines last summer after its concave facade reflected a beam so intense, it could melt cars and fry eggs on the road below. The tower, hilariously redubbed the Walkie Scorchie and the Fryscraper, has since cowered behind a temporary shroud.
The developers – Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group — have now submitted a planning application to the City of London to install a brise-soleil between the third and 34th storeys of the building — basically, some horizontal aluminium fins to break up the glare. The scheme is designed by the tower’s original architect, Rafael Vinoly. If planning permission is granted, it should take about six months to install. Details are not yet available on the City’s planning website.
We have to admit some disappointment at the news. Health and safety be damned. A building that has the potential to destroy anything left beneath it could have become one of the capital’s more unusual attractions, adding a bit of genuine novelty to the streetscape. Oh, and you could do things like this…
*Not actually a death ray, although possibly some insects were injured.