ARCHITECTURE TREND: London’s Vertical City

“London Bridge is Falling Down” goes the nursery rhyme but in fact the opposite is true as this area of the city’s South Bank has undergone a radical transformation evolving into “London Bridge Quarter” at the heart of which is The Shard. At 1,016 ft tall, The Shard has already transformed the London skyline and when it opens to the public in 2013, with a hotel, apartments, offices and viewing galleries, The Shard will offer the services and entertainments of a veritable vertical city.

There are 82 floors, 72 of which will be habitable including offices, restaurants, residences, a hotel and 2 viewing floors on 69 and 72. Level 69 will offer state-of-the-art digital ‘Tell:scopes’ that explain the vista in three different ways. Flat-screens on each telescope will show a ‘live’ view of the metropolis, but will also bring up written information when the viewfinder is focused on a specific landmark (around 200 sights and buildings will be identified in this way). Two further ‘pre-recorded’ panoramas will reveal London in perfect conditions – on a bright sunny day, and on a clear, crisp night. The public is also being encouraged to suggest landmarks that should be picked out by the Tell:scopes. Nominations can be made at, or via Twitter (under the hashtag #SecretShardView). Ten entries will be chosen, and the winners will receive a complimentary pair of tickets for the opening day on February 1st.


Level 72, meanwhile, will offer a slight test of nerve. The higher of the two observation decks will be partially outdoors. It is here that the individual ‘shards’ of the building meet, but the blueprint includes gaps that let the outside world peek in. Noise from the city – swirling traffic and babbling voices – will be piped in to complete the effect. (Chris Leadbeater of The Mail Online).
The View From The Shard will open to the public on February 1st 2013.



Explore The Shard

The Construction of the Shard

A Vertical City


The Top of The Shard

The Shangri-La Hotel


The Shard in April 2012


The shape of the tower is generous at the bottom and narrow at the top, disappearing in the air like a 16th century pinnacle or the mast top of a very tall ship. The architecture of The Shard is firmly based in the historic form of London’s masts and spires

Renzo Piano


Sunday, November 25, 2012 · Categories: Architecture and Design , Lifestyle
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