Renzo Piano’s Shard: The New Inhabintant Of London’s Sky

Edited by: Eugenia Gotti –Architecture editor-

Where: London

Architecture: Shard

Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Adamson Associates

London Bridge Tower also known as the Shard is Europe’s tallest building (306 m) whit 87 floors of which 72 are habitable. The skyscraper stands on the south bank of the Thames next to London Bridge Station, one of the capital’s most important public transport junctions for trains, buses and Underground. An average of 200.00 people use the station every day.

The Shard is a variation on the curtain-walled skyscraper; more audacious and with  a fragmented crystalline geometry. Up close it’s a very simple structure, almost crude in terms of its construction principles but walking pass it is a  disconcerting experience. It is not simply because it is tall although that alone is enough to make you stop and look. It is the way that the taper exaggerates  this vertiginous effect, creating a false perspective.

Unlike New York and Hong Kong, the Shard is not part of an existing group of high-rise buildings. It so stands alone in the skyline of this part of London. The project by Renzo Piano Building Workshop , in collaboration with Adamson Associates, satisfies Mayor of London’s policy promoting high-density developments at major transport interchanges.

The Shard, was formally inaugurated in London on 5 July 2012 and is now one of London’s icons. The focus of the inauguration celebrations is to be a sprawling five-minute laser display that started at 10.10pm. At around that time some 12 lasers and 30 search lights were beam out from the Shard towards other established London landmarks, as a classical-music soundtrack booms out. It all ended with the illumination of the Shard itself, which was illuminated from all sides by giant searchlights.

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