A new skyscraper under construction in London is apparently to blame for some mysteriously melting car parts on the city's surrounding streets. The 37-story building at 20 Fenchurch Street, nicknamed the "Walkie Talkie" for how it looks, features a convex side of glass windows that apparently concentrates the sun's rays like a kid with a magnifying glass. Instead of smiting ants, however, the building was caught focusing its sun-sourced laser death beam on an innocent Jaguar XJ parked on Eastcheap street. The intense heat managed to melt a sideview mirror, plastic C-pillar cover and Jaguar emblem (scroll down for an image of the damage).
Fortunately, the construction company, Land Securities, had some scruples and reportedly left a note on the car for its owner reading "Your car's buckled, could you give us a call?" They've also since apologized and agreed to pay for the £946 done – about $1,500 – in damages by their blazing hot building. A joint statement with the Canary Wharf district in which the building's located was also released. In it, the developer acknowledges concerns about the reflected light and says it's looking into the matter. The city has also decided to close a few parking bays that could be in the building's line of fire, so to speak, until a solution can be engineered. Since news of the melting Jag broke, other vehicle owners have also come forward claiming the building, re-nicknamed the "Walkie Scorchie," has damaged their cars, as well.
This isn't the first shiny-new-building-attacks-cars story we've heard – architect Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles was built amidst concern that its polished ribbons of stainless steel were blinding motorists and causing accidents, along with raising the temperatures of nearby buildings with its reflected light. The building's surfaces were later given a matte polish.