Builders scaled the heights of the Walkie Talkie skyscraper in the City yesterday as work got underway to install “aluminium fins” that will prevent its windows reflecting ultra-bright rays and dazzling passers-by.
Land Securities and Canary Wharf, the owners of 20 Fenchurch Street, are arming the southern facade of the tower with horizontal blades to stop sunlight striking the building.
Work on the so-called brise soleil system, to be installed from level three up to level 34, began in recent weeks and would be completed by the end of the year, Land Securities said yesterday.
The southern face of the building is currently covered in netting after light reflected off the building last summer melted parts of nearby cars and left passers-by dazzled.
Land Securities had previously said the cost would be in the “low single-digit millions” and would not exceed the overall £240m cost set aside for the development.
The Walkie Talkie is 87 per cent let to tenants, including insurer RSA, which began moving in May.
Last September City A.M. tested out the strength of the Walkie Scorchie light beams by frying an egg on the street “illuminated with an unusual ray of piercing hot sunlight caused by a design issue in a superstar architect's skyscraper”.