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Shard dominates London U.K. skyline

The Shard in London, U.K. was officially opened to the public last month and is now — for the time being — Europe's tallest building.


The Shard, view towards Canary Wharf, London, U.K. Image courtesy Sellar Property Group.
The Shard, view towards Canary Wharf, London, U.K. Image courtesy Sellar Property Group.

The Shard in London, U.K. was officially opened to the public last month and is now — for the time being — Europe’s tallest building.

The 72-storey steep pyramidal structure has transformed the skyline of London, literally towering above other buildings in the city and reaching 309 metres. The CN Tower in Toronto is by comparison 553 metres, but because the Shard is relatively so much higher than the surrounding urban context it soars almost as dramatically.

Built to replace a 24-storey office block in Southwark on the south bank of the Thames, the Shard sits near London Bridge. It has 72 floors, with residences, a hotel, restaurants, etc., and a five-storey public viewing gallery between the 68th and 72nd floors. An open air observation deck, which is the highest in Britain, is on the 72nd floor. The tower has 11,000 panes of glass with a total surface area of 600,000 square feet.

The architect is Renzo Piano, who apparently was inspired to design the glass building to recall the church steeples that used to dominate the city skyline. Adamson Associates, a Toronto-based architectural firm, was the affiliate architect. Structural engineer was WSP Cantor Seinuk, . Ove Arup was the Services engineer, principal contractor was Mace, and Sellar Property Group was the developer.

To see more details the Shard, click here.

The Shard, view towards Canary Wharf, London, U.K. Image courtesy Sellar Property Group.