Renzo Piano behind Europe’s tallest building: The Shard London

Thursday: Ar(T)chitecture

Renzo Piano: The Shard London

Height: 309.6 m (1,016 ft)

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Architect: Renzo Piano

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Europe’s tallest skyscraper and an astonishing one.

The Shard, also known as the Shard London Bridge, is a glass (recalling a shard of glass) pyramid-shaped skyscraper under construction in Southwark, London. The structure was just recently completed in April 2012, and it is expected to open to the public quite soon. The structure has been designed with an irregular triangular shape from the base to the top and through a sophisticated use of glazing with expressive façades of angled glass panes intended to reflect sunlight and the sky above, so that the appearance of the building will change according to the weather and seasons.

The Shard’s flower plan is definitely an exciting one. Office space will be from the 2nd to the 28th floor; restaurants on the 31st, 32nd and 33rd; the glamorous Shangri-La Hotel from the 34th to 52nd; an even more glamorous SPA on the 52nd; residential apartments, with A view, from the 53rd to the 65th; an unbelievable observatory from the 68th to the 72nd floor and finally the spire reaches the 87th floor. It’s whooping!

The observatory, perhaps the most exciting part of the whole construction, is expected to draw over two million visitors a year. I cannot even imagine how stunning the view will be from there. Will just have to wait till it opens!

Since a good article is never good if it is not completed with some good photography, I would like to introduce the photographic project “Shard 2012” started by the partnership between London based architectural CG studio Hayes Davidson and London photographer Nick Wood. The “Shard 2012” is an online exhibition of ‘future photography’ of the Shard exploring some of the vantage points from where the Shard might be photographed in 2012 once it is completed. Those photographs indeed show the juxtaposition of the Shard with the historic and the iconic London.

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