Is The Walkie-Talkie Building Melting Cars?

By M@ Last edited 58 months ago
Is The Walkie-Talkie Building Melting Cars?

walkieA couple of reports have emerged over the weekend suggesting that London's latest novelty skyscraper might be a menace to road and pavement users. Is the curvy Walkie-Talkie building (properly called 20 Fenchurch Street) focussing the sun's rays onto Eastcheap below, like some giant Archimedes' mirror?

On Friday, the Evening Standard went along to investigate the rumours. Rather than taking along technical heat-sensing equipment like, say, a thermometer, the newspaper proved the existence of the hotspot by photographing a succession of attractive female passers-by sweltering elegantly in its glare.

City AM has evidence of a more persuasive nature. Martin Lindsay, director of a tiling company, reckons that the intense light reflecting from the building has melted parts of his Jaguar XJ, which was parked in Eastcheap during the hottest hours of the day. Further drivers have now come forward with similar claims.

The City of London has suspended three parking bays for the time being, to allow tests to take place.

The Walkie Talkie building, due to open next year, already boasts London's most preposterous nickname. Will these revelations (if true) provoke a new sobriquet? The Walkie Scorchie has already been mooted, but we reckon you lot can come up with something better. Suggestions below.

See also:

Image by [Duncan] in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 02 September 2013

Jonn Elledge

I think it's a mark of how we've all internalized the name "the gerkin" that you don't automatically think it's a sillier label for a building than "walkie talkie".

Captain Kickarse

The only way I know there's a heatwave in this country is when various attractive females are pictured sweltering in the sun.

Ian Wylie

The Walkie Scotchie also appears to be melting The Cheesegrater - under construction nearby:


What about the "Tear It Down It's Awful".


Without getting all health and safety on people, I walked through the arear affected and felt really sunburned afterwards. The heat it is generating is oppressive and all I could think was "skin cancer anyone?!?"

Catherine Rogan

Death Ray Tower?


I feel compelled to share my own experience - a plastic bag melted in my hands outside the building due to the intense heat, I couldn't even look at the building, I've never experienced anything like it!


walked past it last week and the soles of my shoes had melted. quite embarrassing as was on the way to a job interview



Michaela Power

I work near there and walked through a patch of intense sunlight at the top of St Mary at HIll this afternoon. Really, really hot and noticeably brighter than anywhere else. Wouldn't want any stray paper to be left lying around in that spot!


Thankfully the engineers forgot to seal one of the exhaust ports so there's hope yet...

Mike Kohler

The Microwave (technically erroneous, but what the heck?).


I ask for evidence that this building can either or walk OR talk - let alone do both.

Paul D

It's a really good idea to make the south face of glass and concaved!
Architects these days can model all these things, looks like missed something basic here.

Jasmine Lew

The Toaster!

Peter Twist

Be a great locality for pedal cycle couriers to warm up on cold winter days.


The Towering Inferno. Which would soon be shortened to just The Inferno.

Paul Holroyd

Class Action Point

Gary S McQuiggin



Can you use it as some kind of giant BBQ grill?


good spot for harvesting solar power or CSP

Scott Rosser

The Sore Thumb? It certainly sticks out like one...

Kervin Labrosse

I think the same guy designed another building and a similar problem occurred. Such a shame for a new building to have such bad decisions behind it's design