The 37-storey building at 20 Fenchurch Street, in the City of London, hit the headlines this week after it emerged that a car had been badly-damaged by the concentrated beam created as the sun reflects off its curved surface.
Business owners in the area have also reported damage to their properties and even small fires.
Developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf are proposing to erect a scaffolding screen at street level as a quick fix, however printing industry experts have suggested a print-based option would be the ideal long-term solution for the problem.
Nick Kapp, business development manager at Reading-based large-format graphics specialist VGL said: “There’s quite an easy solution to this, put a giant graphic on it and change it regularly!”
Kapp added that it would be possible to create a subtle effect: “By using a Contra Vision product people inside would still be able to see out. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be an advert, even if you just printed it grey it would work – it could be a printed colour or texture.”
Adam Mcmonagle, technical operations and marketing specialist at Macro Art in St Neots suggested the application of a low-reflective vinyl film, or even a mesh. “They could use a mesh screen, perhaps a little bit offset from the building, at that particular point.”
Roland Hill, managing director at specialist see-through graphics technology developer Contra Vision, which holds a number of patents for the technique, added: “This could have been avoided by using Contra Vision in the first place. Because Contra Vision is made with ink, the reflection is diffused – it’s multi-directional.
“It’s going to depend on the specific nature of the problem, and will require careful appraisal of the angles involved to find the right long-term solution,” Hill said.
The skyscraper had been nicknamed the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ because of its shape, and has now been dubbed the ‘Walkie-Scorchie’ instead.