The Shard

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Monday, November 7, 2016 - 13:26

The Shard was conceived as a building with multiple uses: a vertical city where people could live, work and relax. It comprises world-class offices, award-wining restaurants, the 5-star Shangri-La Hotel, exclusive residences and the UK’s highest viewing gallery, The View from The Shard, offering 360-degree views. Well-connected and comprehensively serviced by central London's transport infrastructure, facilities and amenities, The Shard is a timeless reminder of the power of imagination to inspire change.

The Shard is a living, dynamic building, full of energy. Its sits proudly next to its stunning sister building, The News Building, now headquarters to News UK and illustrious titles and media brands: The Times, HarperCollins, Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal. These two Renzo-designed buildings will be occupied by 12,500 people and are already establishing a new vibrant community - London Bridge Quarter.

Taking inspiration from the spires of London churches and the masts of tall ships depicted by the 18th-century Venetian painter Canaletto, Renzo Piano designed The Shard as a spire-like sculpture emerging from the River Thames.

The slender pyramidal form was tuned to the mix of uses that the building contains; offices making use of the large floor plates on levels 4-28, and directly connected to the busy transport hub at ground level. Immediately above are three floors of restaurants and bars. The hotel occupies the central section of the building, with the residences above, where the building is slender enough for apartments to have views on all sides. The final floors accommodate the UK's highest public viewing galleries, 240m above street level. The spectacular glass and steel spire at 95 storeys (310m) high forms its summit, tapering off and disappearing into the sky - a particularly important detail for Piano given the building’s prominence on the London skyline.

Eight sloping glass facades, the "shards", define the shape and visual quality of the tower, fragmenting the scale of the building and reflecting the light in unpredictable ways. Opening vents in the gaps or “fractures” between the shards, provide natural ventilation to winter gardens.


  • The Shard is 309.6 metres, or 1,016 feet, high - almost a third of a kilometre.
  • It is 95 storeys tall, with level 72 the highest habitable floor.
  • The building is served by 44 lifts, some of which are double-decker.
  • Its exterior is covered by 11,000 glass panels - equivalent in area to eight football pitches or two and a half Trafalgar Squares.
  • The length of wiring in the building, 320km or 200 miles, would stretch from London to Paris.
  • At the busiest point during its construction, 1,450 workers from 60 countries were helping to build The Shard.
  • Lifts in The Shard travel at speeds of up to 6 metres a second.
  • A fox was found on the 72nd floor towards the end of construction. The fox, which was nicknamed Romeo by staff, is believed to have survived on food left by construction workers.
  • The Shard is jointly owned by The State of Qatar and Sellar Property Group.


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