The Shard

Formally named ‘the london bridge tower’, but now commonly referred to as ‘The Shard’ by Italian architect Renzo Piano has been complete since the summer of 2012 and officially opens to the public on february 1, 2013. Currently considered the tallest building in western europe, the needle-point structure stands 309.6 meters above the new london bridge quarter in the south bank district and is home to a number of programs including office space, restaurants, 5-star shangri-la hotel and residences.

The iconic tower has redefined the London skyline and is already an international symbol for London. A mixed-use “vertical city,” it offers more than 55,000 square meters of office space on 25 floors, three floors of restaurants, a 17-story hotel, 13 floors of apartments and a triple-height viewing gallery, as well as an open-air viewing floor on level 72. It is crowned with a steel-framed pinnacle and clad with shards of glass designed to blend into the sky. Standing next to London Bridge Station, one of London’s busiest transport hubs, at the heart of London Bridge Quarter, London’s newest commercial quarter, the Shard is a key part of the regeneration of London’s South Bank.

By placing the Shard on a major transportation hub – used by about 375,000 people a day – it connects with an existing public transport system rather than generating more road traffic and pollution. To promote an idea that people will use more public transport and reduce traffic on the road, Renzo Pianno designed this building with no parking area. In this this building there is a 48 parking space and reserved for physically challenged people only.

In construction, which began in 2009, the Shard recycled most of the rubble generated by the demolition of the unloved 1970s Southwark Towers office building that stood on the site. Piano and his team set out to create a structure that is as energy efficient as possible. There is a skin of triple-glazing with integrated sun screens that can automatically shade sections of the tower if it begins to get too warm, cutting down on the need for air conditioning, but also taking advantage of the sun’s warmth to reduce heating bills. The fractures between the shards provide natural ventilation for the winter gardens, which are positioned throughout the building as meeting rooms and lounge areas for use by office staff. Since the building is a mixed use, there is extra production of heat from the offices that can reuse in the residential part.

The tower itself has cost about £430 million to build, over nearly three years of construction, and sits within a £1.2 billion zone called London Bridge Quarter – developed by the Sellar Group with the backing of Qatari investors – which includes another, much smaller, office block, plus a new bus depot and improvements to the railway station

The design had to accommodate a heightened safety regime for skyscrapers introduced in the wake of 9/11. The Shard is built around a super-strong concrete core that holds all the key services, including the escape routes. There are a total of 44 lifts, including dedicated lifts for firefighters.

Its towering, surprisingly light form also does not have an overly pronounced impact on the London skyline but is more of a point of reference for the Southwark area south of the Thames, which is being redeveloped under a local government project. Its form also reflects it accommodating a variety of uses.

Public access was regarded as essential for such a significant building, while the mix of uses means that it is accessed by people throughout the day.


Official Name The Shard
Other Names The Shard of Glass, London Bridge Tower, The Shard at London Bridge
Structure Type Building
Status Completed
Country United Kingdom
City London
Street Address & Map 32 London Bridge Street
Postal Code SE1 9SG
Building Function residential / hotel / office
Structural Material Composite

  • Core: Reinforced Concrete
  • Columns: Steel
  • Floor Spanning: Steel
Proposed 2000
Construction Start 2009
Completion 2013
Official Website The Shard The View From The Shard
Global Ranking #120 Tallest in the World 
Regional Ranking #5 Tallest in Europe 
National Ranking #1 Tallest in United Kingdom
City Ranking #1 Tallest in London

Companies Involved

Owner London Bridge Quarter Ltd
Developer Sellar Property Group
• Design Renzo Piano Building Workshop
• Architect of Record Adamson Associates
Structural Engineer
• Design WSP Group
MEP Engineer
• Design Arup
Project Manager Turner & Townsend
Main Contractor Mace Limited
Other Consultant
• Acoustics WSP Group
• Cost alinea Consulting; AECOM
• Façade Connell Mott MacDonald; Permasteelisa Group
• Façade Maintenance REEF Associates Ltd
• Fire Arup; WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
• Geotechnical Fugro; WSP Group
• Marketing Wordsearch
• Planning Bovis Lend Lease
• Property Management Real Estate Management Limited
• Quantity Surveyor Davis Langdon
• Security Kroll Inc
• Traffic WSP Group
• Vertical Transportation Lerch Bates Europe
• Wind RWDI
Material Supplier
• Concrete Byrne Group PLC
• Construction Hoists Alimak Hek
• Elevator KONE
• Façade Maintenance Equipment CoxGomyl
• Paint/Coating AkzoNobel
• Sealants Sika Services AG; Dow Corning Corporation
• Steel Severfield

Written by buildmarvel

Hi... I am an Architect from Lucknow,India and I have only one dream to build a landmark building will recognised by my name......

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