No, it’s not the tallest building in the world, but at 1,016 feet, it’s the tallest in Europe! The Shard, designed by Renzo Piano, is located in London and had its formal inauguration just over a week ago.
We talk a lot about new “tallest” towers, but to see one topped off is something else! The Shard topped off on March 30, but won’t be fully completed until February 2013. Although the interior fitting is still underway, the vacant office space on the lower levels is open for business!
Renzo Piano was working with Broadway Malyan when he began designing The Shard in 2000. At the time, it was probably one of the world’s tallest designs. The Shard will be comprised of luxury residential space between floors 53 and 65, a Shangri-La Hotel, office space, retail, a number of restaurants, and a five-storey public viewing gallery, which is located on the 72nd floor. This gallery will open up views of London that tourists and local residents have never seen before.
There will be 95 floors in total, which will be serviced by 44 elevators. The entire exterior is clad in panes of glass – about 11,000 of them. At the beginning of the designing phase, Piano said that the building would be “A shard of glass through the heart of historic London” – kind of violent, kind of dramatic, but describes it perfectly. The spire-like shape is inspired by the large number of church steeples in London. Also, the city’s skyline doesn’t have many high-rise towers, so the tapering of the building ensured that it wouldn’t be too dominating.
One thing that we’re impressed by is how fast the tower was built. Construction started in March 2009, and it only took three years to top off. Not bad for the tallest building in Europe. As we said earlier, it won’t be fully completed until February 2013, but just under four years isn’t bad for a 1,000-foot tower.
What do you think of the design?
Do you think it suits the skyline?Google+