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Here are the latest images of The Shard, a mixed-use tower at London Bridge in London, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
Construction work has started on the 306 metre-high building, which
will sit on an irregular-shaped site adjacent to London Bridge station
as part of a new development called London Bridge Quarter.
The design consists of several glass facets that incline inwards but
do not meet at the top, and is inspired by the masts of ships that once
anchored on the Thames.
The 72-storey building contains offices, apartments, a hotel and
spa, retail and restaurants and is topped by a 15-storey public viewing
The Shard will replace the 1970’s Southwark Tower building on Bridge
Street which has since been demolished in preparation for construction,
which is due to be completed in 2012.
Here’s some text from Sellar Property Group, the developer:
THE SHARD AT LONDON BRIDGE QUARTER – A WELCOME ADDITION TO THE LONDON SKYLINE
The Shard is one of the most enigmatic buildings to adorn the London
skyline in recent years. The vision of its creator, the much lauded
Italian architect Renzo Piano was for a vertical ‘City in the Sky’; and
the Shard at London Bridge Quarter with its mix of offices residences,
hotel, restaurants and viewing platforms will herald a new era in high
rise development for London and will become emblematic when all eyes
look towards the city in 2012.
Increasing density in central London, particularly near major public
transport nodes, is key to London’s future development. Improving the
efficiency of the public transport system and maximising the use of
space around transport hub is essential.
Given the Shard’s location above one of London’s key commuter
stations, bus interchange and two main underground lines, a high
density development was deemed not only possible but very desirable.
At an inspiring height of 306 metres (1,016 feet) and with a total
72 occupied floors reaching skyward into a breathtaking 15 story spire,
the Shard London Bridge Quarter is set to be the tallest building in
The Shard immediately adjacent to London Bridge Station will rest
elegantly on the London skyline, providing a welcome new symbol for the
world financial capital. The Shard replaces the Southwark Tower, a
1970’s building located on London Bridge Street.
The Shard offers high density vertical development at a transport
hub and will be the UK’s first truly mixed use tower, devised to
interface with London on many levels.
The master architect, Renzo Piano, designed the Shard as a ‘vertical
city’ that includes a public piazza, 586,509 sq ft (54, 488 sq m) of
world class office space, an exclusive collection of residential
apartments which will be the highest residential apartments in the UK
and will be serviced by Europe’s first 5-star Shangri-La Hotel, retail
space, restaurants, and a public viewing gallery.
This will all ensure that it becomes the beating heart of a
regenerated London Bridge Quarter. Inspired by the spires of London’s
churches and the top sails of the ships that used to moor on the
Thames, the Shard will be a light and elegant presence in London’s
skyline. The plan is generated by the irregular nature of the site.
Each facet forms a shard, a plane of glass gently inclined inwards,
rising towards the top. The corners are open and the shards do not
touch, allowing the building to breathe. In turn the glass surface
fragments as it rises and the tower dissolves into the sky.
The Office Space
The Shard offers 54, 488 sq m (586,509 sq ft) of flexible prime
office space and is set to become the premier commercial address in
London. Over 45% of the Shard has already been pre-let to Shangri La
(floors 34-52) and to Transport for London (floors 4-10). The remaining
available office space offers all the amenities one would expect from a
desirable central London address. The highly flexible floor plates are
efficient and effective with space nett internal floor area ranging
from 2,790 sq m (30,032 sq ft) to 1,349 sq m (14,521 sq ft). A key
feature of the office floors is the naturally ventilated winter gardens.
These spaces were first devised by Renzo Piano for his acclaimed
Aurora Place skyscraper in Sydney, Australia. These multifunctional
areas make the most of the stunning views across the Thames and from
Hyde Park in the West to Canary Wharf in the East from the Shard. The
winter gardens can be used for a variety of purposes and allow
occupants to enjoy natural light and air within the office. The offices
within the Shard are accessed via a dedicated entrance on the concourse
level of London Bridge Quarter. The office entrance also benefits from
direct access to London Bridge mainline station, the bus station and
the Jubilee and Northern lines on the Underground.
The first Shangri-La Hotel in the UK will occupy floors 34-52 of the
Shard and will contain 195 rooms and suites. The hotel will operate on
the simple yet powerful philosophy of a warm, efficient and seamless
service that has made the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Group famous.
The Hotel will also feature a signature Shangri-La Spa on floor 52,
which is available to guests as well as the residents and workers in
the Shard and London Bridge Place. The Hotel also has its own entrance
on St Thomas Street with valet parking and taxi drop off point directly
An exclusive collection of apartments at the Shard are arranged on
floors 53-65 and are the highest elevation residences in the UK. With
their amazing vistas across the London skyline they will be one of the
most coveted addresses in the world. The apartments will be the
ultimate in sophisticated and contemporary living, with each being
custom designed to the resident’s exact specifications. The apartments
will also benefit from all the services and facilities of the
Shangri-La Hotel. To ensure the maximum levels of privacy synonymous
with an exclusive address, residents at the Shard will have their own
private entrance on St Thomas Street.
The Public Viewing Galleries
Uniquely, the Shard will be open to the general public who can visit
the viewing platforms on floors 68-72. These viewing galleries offer
breathtaking 360° views across London. The viewing galleries are
accessed directly from an entrance on the mezzanine level at below
ground level so that visitors do not cross over with any of the other
users of the building. The galleries are expected to attract over half
a million visitors a year and with visibility at 800 ft (almost double
the height of the pinnacle of The London Eye) are certain to become a
major tourist attraction.
The Shard will be a striking new addition to the London skyline,
commanding panoramic views across the capital doubling the height
offered from the London Eye. The Shard will become the tallest building
in London as it reaches the maximum height allowed by the Civil
Aviation Authority with unobstructed views thanks to its proximity to
The Shard will contain an exciting mix of world class restaurants
and cafes for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike. With its
prime location on top of a major transport interchange, the Shard is
expected to become a destination in its own right with people
travelling from across London and the rest of the UK to dine in one of
its restaurants (located on floors 31-33) and experience the highest
view in the United Kingdom.
The development of the Shard and the creation of London Bridge
Quarter has provided the opportunity to transform the transport
facilities at this major London transport interchange. London Bridge
Station is one of London’s busiest railway stations, with an average of
over 350, 000 journeys through the station each day.
In addition to a new concourse for London Bridge Station, a bigger
bus station will be constructed to the north of London Bridge Place
with 15 bus routes, as well as riverboat and taxi stands. The train and
tube stations will be extended covering an impressive 61 underground
and 247 rail destinations.
London Bridge Quarter will also include a significant new public
square with ever changing art installations, cafes and places for
visitors to the area to relax.
By bringing the soul back into the heart of the city, London Bridge
Quarter will benefit not only tenants and residents of the Shard but
also the local community by becoming a vibrant public space for
everyone to enjoy. When completed in Spring 2012, the Shard London
Bridge Quarter will be an awe inspiring part of the London skyline.
With its hotel, restaurants, luxury residences, flexible premium
office space and public viewing galleries the Shard is a welcome
addition to this long overlooked area of Central London. The Shard will
form the nucleus of London Bridge Quarter, a large scale regeneration
program for the area by Sellar on behalf of LBQ Ltd. This far-reaching
program will improve the local district and reinforce the importance of
this gateway destination for the benefit of all of London.
Posted by Zaynab D. Ziari from dezeen.com
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