The Shard of London 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 contains 98 apartments, with prices starting from $950 per square foot ($10,000 per square meter). It is also the most expensive residential building in the world.
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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 has been called "the world's first skyscraper" because it contains no interior floors; all of its offices are on the ground floor only.
The building is owned by the publicly listed company SHARD Group and was designed by British architect Renzo Piano with Arup Associates as engineering consultants. It opened for business in 2014 after more than four years of construction. The estimated cost was $440 million.
It is located on the South Bank of London near the River Thames and opposite St Paul's Cathedral. Its height makes it a dominant presence across much of the city, especially at night when it is illuminated in red, white, and blue lights to celebrate America's birthday.
The Shard has been criticised for its impact on traffic congestion and air quality due to its position on the River Thames which provides access to the main railway line that connects London's principal airports with the rest of Britain. However, the hotel component of its design means that most of the office space is not required daily, so there is less demand on the public transport system.
The Shard of London The Shard is the highest structure in the United Kingdom, standing at 309.6m at its tallest point. Opened in 2012, The Shard is located in the City of London, overlooking St Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge.
It is ranked as the world's best view from a skyscraper and has been named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and Science. The building was designed by British architect Richard Rogers and is primarily composed of glass panels framed by steel gantries. It is owned by India's Emaar Properties and is part of a development called London Bridge. The company also owns the nearby Tate Modern gallery and King's Cross station.
The Shard took more than seven years to build and it costs about $150 million to $180 million to construct a single story. Its height makes it one of the most expensive buildings in the world when priced in dollars per square meter.
However, it is not the first skyscraper in the UK. That title belongs to The Gherkin, which is located in the City of London and is home to hedge fund manager Michael Parker Bowell's 30th-floor office. The Gherkin was built in 2004 and stands at 108 meters (354 feet).