The Shard in Southwark, London, is the highest finished skyscraper in both the United Kingdom and the European Union until the United Kingdom's exit; it was completed in March 2012 at a height of 310 metres (1,020 ft), inaugurated in July 2012, and opened to the public in February 2013. The Shard features an observation deck on the 102nd floor with views over London.
Other tall buildings under construction in London include One King's Road in St Peter's Square, which is expected to be complete in 2020 at a height of 365 m (1200 ft); and The Tower, also in St Peter's Square, which is scheduled for completion in 2023. Both buildings are project from French architect Frank Gehry.
The City of London currently has no major skyscrapers under construction, but there are several large-scale projects that are planned or proposed for development within the city boundaries. These include Bishopsgate Quarter, which will see the redevelopment of a 23-acre site between Bishopsgate and Shoreditch High Streets; and The O2, which is a giant indoor entertainment arena being built in what used to be Battersea Power Station. When complete in 2017, these two projects will make The City of London Europe's biggest mixed use development.
The Shard is the highest structure in the United Kingdom and the eighth tallest building in Europe, standing at 309.6 meters (1,016 ft). It is also the second-tallest free-standing building in the United Kingdom, after the Emley Moor transmitting station's concrete tower. The Shard was designed by British architect Renzo Piano who has also designed other skyscrapers around the world.
The building's name comes from an English word meaning "shard" or "piece of glass".
It consists of a single slender shaft with multiple floors of offices, which reaches to the top of this relatively small area of London. The building is not only a sight to be seen but also part of the city landscape and public space.
Construction on the $150 million project began in 2011 and it was completed in 2013. The Shard has 72 stories above ground and sits atop the former Gherkin building which itself is taller than most buildings in London. The Shard takes up about one-sixth of the roof of what was once called "the smallest park in the world" due to its size relative to the rest of London.
Its height makes the Shard a clear sight for many miles in almost every direction, including out over the Atlantic where you can see the building's thin line against the blue sky.
The Shard is the highest structure in the United Kingdom, standing at 309.6m at its tallest point. It is also one of the most expensive buildings in the world when measured by cost per square metre. The tower was designed by British architect Renzo Piano who has also designed other famous buildings such as the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Louvre Pyramid in Paris.
The Shard won't be occupied by any resident staff since it's intended to be a luxury hotel at the top. Its 255 apartments are expected to go for between $1 million and $10 million (GBP 60,000 and GBP 500,000) per year. There will even be a private dining room on the 32nd floor ($10,000 per month) where guests can enjoy French cuisine served by specially trained staff.
It's been built in the London Bridge area, which is known for its skyscrapers. This huge construction has caused controversy because it doesn't comply with local planning regulations because it stands more than 40 metres high. However, the government has granted it a special exemption from the requirement for full-time security guards because it's considered too dangerous to occupy.
The 2000s witnessed a surge in skyscraper construction, primarily in the City of London and Canary Wharf. However, The Shard at London Bridge has been the tallest skyscraper in London since 2010, reaching 309.6 metres (1,016 ft) in 2012. There are currently no plans to build another such structure.
The City of London is an area of central London, bounded by the River Thames to the east and north, and St Paul's Cathedral to the south. It covers an area of 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2). In the 2001 census, its population was estimated to be 484,000. The City of London Corporation is the local government body for The City of London.
Canary Wharf is a business district and waterfront area on the Isle of Dogs in London, England. Opened in 1986, it is home to the headquarters of several banks and financial services companies. The name "Canary Wharf" comes from the canaries used to detect gas fumes before they became extinct here. Today, there are over 100 buildings over 90 m (295 ft) high, making it the second-largest development of this type in Europe after Moscow's Financial District.
The Shard sells tickets to visitors who want to see how high they can climb - the highest viewing gallery is called the Viewing Gallery Off the Floor.