In the background in this photo you can see the 'Gherkin', St Mary Axe. In the foreground is the 'Walkie Talkie' building, Fenchurch Street. Most of you will agree it is a very strange shape indeed.
Marie at 62andthenext10pathways really deserves some publicity for her brilliant work as she uses London's train lines to investigate the area surrounding each station. I believe she has completed the Bakerloo line and is well on the way to completing the Central line. As she explored the area around Bank, she made mention of the Walkie Talkie building and how because of its concave shape, it magnified the sun to an intense beam that could set a carpet alight and damage cars. While I had heard of this, I suspected a bit of myth had grown up around the story too. I investigated.
Wow, it is all quite true. Pictures from the Daily Mail, 2013. A nice bright spot beaming down from the Walkie Talkie.
Stepping out into the glare.
Distorted car window rubbers.
Burnt plastic mirror surround.
Burnt bicycle seat.
Burnt shop entrance mat.
So how hot were the intensified sun rays from the Walkie Talkie? Hot enough to fry an egg, apparently.
As a boy I learnt about the power of curved glass, sadly leading to the demise of several ants and the occasional shriek from my brother. The architect did not wonder about what would happen when the sun's rays hit the curved glass of the Walkie Talkie building?