Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New British skyscraper so hot it can melt a Jaguar

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LONDON -- Motorists may want to think twice about parking in front of the half-built London skyscraper known as the Walkie-Talkie.

That's because the glare off the skin of the new building is so intense at least one Jaguar owner says it caused part of his vehicle to melt.

And that's not all.

Locals say the building's heat also burned a hole in the welcome mat of a barber shop across the street.

"We were working and just saw the smoke coming out of the carpet," said shop owner Ali Akay. "This is a health-and-safety issue. They should have looked into this before they built it."

Similar problems have plagued other modern buildings, including in Los Angeles, when neighbours of the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall reported heat buildups that required corrective measures.

In a joint statement, developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf said they are taking the complaints seriously and looking into how the building reflects sunlight. The 37-storey tower -- one of the most distinctively shaped skyscrapers in London's financial district -- is expected to be completed in 2014.

The apparent problem came to public attention when businessman Martin Lindsay told reporters his Jaguar's mirror, panels and hood ornament had all melted from the concentrated sunlight reflected from the building.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 4, 2013 A4

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