The Shard is a 310 metre skyscraper located in the London borough of Southwark, close to London Bridge station and Tower bridge. It is the landmark development as part of a larger regeneration project known as London Bridge quarter. Not only has it become the tallest building in the UK (and EU), but it is also the first ‘truly mixed use’ scheme being comprised of offices, retail, a 5* hotel, bars/café’s and luxury apartments.
It has been described as a ‘vertical city’ and according to its architect, Renzo Piano, it will be ‘living 24 hours a day and intensify the city life’.
The Floor plan of the Shard is as follows (see below for pictures):
1-3 – Lobby
4-28 – Office Space
31-33 – Restaurants
34-50 – Shangri la hotel
53-65 – Apartments
68-72 – Viewing gallery i.e. The View from The Shard
75-87 – Spire
According to Renzo Piano, the shape and design of the Shard is influenced by a structure that had dominated the London skyline for hundreds of years, the church spire. The clear blue glass that makes up the Shards cladding is extremely high quality. It is designed to reflect the sky, clouds and sunlight so that on a sunny day, the building will ‘shimmer on the London skyline like a Shard of glass’.
If you would like to read more about the Shard from it’s architect Renzo Piano, you can purchase a book he has written dedicated to the Shard. This book includes exclusive sketches, diagrams, plans and a ‘behind the scenes’ story of how the building came to be. Purchase Renzo Piano’s book here: The Shard: London Bridge Tower (Renzo Piano Monographs)
Can I go Inside The Shard?
Yes! Several businesses have opened inside the Shard and are welcoming paying customers. This includes 3 restaurant, a viewing gallery and soon a hotel. If you are looking for the best view in London, then the viewing gallery is your best bet.
Located on the highest habitable floor, the viewing gallery offers unparalleled views of the city and the highest observation point in the EU. Tickets to the Shard Viewing Gallery can be purchased through the Golden Tours website, who are offering a £5 discount. Purchase Shard Tickets through Golden Tours.