Image: John Phillips/UK Press/Press Association Images
EUROPE’S TALLEST building has been officially inaugurated in London.
The Shard stands at 310 metres (or 95 storeys) high and is officially the continent’s tallest building – though a tower under construction in Russia is likely to break that record before the year is out. About 26 floors of the lower section of the building are being set aside as office space, while a “world-class dining experience” will occupy a three-story atrium.
A hotel, the Shangri-La, will occupy floors 34 through 52. Above this will be residential space and viewing platforms for visitors. If you want a taste of what London looks like from that height, the building’s website has an interactive panoramic photo showing 360-degree views from the top of The Shard.
Speaking at the launch, architect Renzo Piano said that the building was designed to be a “sparkling, quite gentle spire” and not a symbol of arrogance and power. Irvine Sellar, chairman of Sellar Property Group which owns the building, said the company is “confident we’ve got very strong financial backers who have provided long-term funding for this building to see us through this recession”.
The development of the building and its surrounding area is estimated at £1.5 billion and one of the project’s major backers is Qatar.
Emergency services were called to the site earlier this week after reports of a window cleaner’s trolley swinging at the top of the tower. Site engineers were able to help the cleaner safely from the device and no injuries were reported.
Although the building’s exterior has been finished, work will continue on the interior into 2013.
The building was launched last night with a spectacular laser show:
Journal Media does not control and is not responsible for user created content, posts, comments, submissions or preferences. Users are reminded that they are fully responsible for their own created content and their own posts, comments and submissions and fully and effectively warrant and indemnify Journal Media in relation to such content and their ability to make such content, posts, comments and submissions available. Journal Media does not control and is not responsible for the content of external websites.