Two developers say they will spend several million dollars on the facade of London’s 37-floor “Walkie Talkie” skyscraper to prevent the solar glare that caused scorching damage in the adjacent street last summer (ENR 9/16/13 p. 20).
Lightweight, 38-centimeter-long metal fins, or brise soleile, will be fixed to the curved south facade of the building at 20 Fenchurch St. in a six-month operation, subject to planning approval from the local authority. Eight levels of fins are planned for each floor, from No. 3 to No. 34.
Solar-glare investigations ordered by the joint developers, Land Securities Group plc. and Canary Wharf Group plc., both based in London, identified the concave curvature of the south elevation as a key cause of the glare.
The “almost perfect curvature of the facade” and high levels of reflected energy also contributed, the investigators reported. Crews hung a curtain over much of the south elevation as a temporary screen.
The building’s lead architect, New York City-based Rafael Viñoly, developed the solar-screening design with the assistance of Loisos + Ubbelohde Associates Inc., San Francisco, and Gordon Ingram Associates, London.