News: Rafael Viñoly's Walkie Talkie skyscraper in London is reflecting a beam of light intense enough to melt cars, according to a series of recent reports. Update: a CGI artist predicted the effect a year ago - read more in our latest story.
Claims surfaced over the weekend that the glare from the curvaceous glass facade of the 37-storey tower - currently under construction at 20 Fenchurch Street - have caused vehicle paintwork to melt and bodywork to distort.
Engineer Eddie Cannon, who parked his Vauxhall Vevaro beneath the building, told local newspaper City AM: "The van looks a total mess – every bit of plastic on the left hand side and everything on the dashboard has melted, including a bottle of Lucozade that looks like it has been baked."
Tiling company director Martin Lindsay suffered a similar fate, claiming that the panels surrounding his Jaguar XJ had been warped. Attacking property developer Land Securities, he said: "They're going to have to think of something. I'm gutted. How can they let this continue?"
Land Securities has acknowledged the claims and is promising to look into the matter. "As a precautionary measure, the City of London has agreed to suspend three parking bays in the area which may be affected while we investigate the situation further," said a spokesperson.
The skyscraper, nicknamed the Walkie Talkie due to its distinctive profile, is set to be the first London building completed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, who is based in New York. This recent controversy has prompted critics to rebrand the building "Walkie Scorchie".
The skyscraper is scheduled to complete in 2014 and will feature an elevated garden and observation deck that will be open to the public.
Images of the Walkie Talkie are courtesy of Shutterstock.