The Shard of 32 London Bridge is a pyramid-shaped skyscraper under construction in Southwark, London. Standing almost 310 metres tall, it is currently the 2nd tallest building in Europe and the tallest in the European Union. It is also the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, after the 330-metre (1,083 ft) concrete tower at the Emley Moor Transmitting Station.
Shard London Bridge replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-storey office building constructed on the site in 1976. Renzo Piano, the Shard’s architect, worked with the architectural firm Broadway Malyan during the planning stage. The tower has 72 habitable floors, with a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck – the UK’s highest – on the 72nd floor. It was designed with an irregular triangular shape from the base to the top, and is clad entirely in glass. Shard London Bridge’s structure was completed in April 2012, and it will open to the public on 5 July 2012.
The Shard will be the tallest building in Western Europe, its crystalline façade transforming the London skyline with a mixed-use 310 m (1,016 ft) vertical city of high-quality offices, world-renowned restaurants, the 5-star Shangri-La hotel, exclusive residential apartments and the capital’s highest viewing gallery offering 360° 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 at London Bridge Quarter will redefine London’s skyline and become a symbol for the capital, recognisable throughout the world.”