The Shard is the tallest building in the European Union and is the second tallest free- standing structure in the United Kingdom after the 330 metro high concrete transmitting station at Emley Moor. This 95 storey skyscraper in London forms a part of London Bridge Quarter development and is also known as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and London Bridge Tower.
It is 310 meters high and has 72 livable floors: Offices – 2nd to the 28th floor, Restaurants – 31st to 33rd floor, Shangri – La Hotel – 34th to 52nd floor, Residences – 53rd to 65th floor and The View – 68th to 72nd floor .
The Shard was developed by Sellar Property and was designed by the Italian architect Rinzo Piano. This building was constructed on the site of Southwark towers, which was demolished in 2009. The Shard is constructed in a surface area of 56,000 square meters with 11,000 panes of glass. The glass panes reflect the sunlight and the sky, such that this building gets a different appearance based on the weather and season.
Hotel and Restaurants:
The Shangri La Hotel is from the 34th to 52nd floor and is a Hong Kong based 5-star hotel. This hotel has 200 luxurious rooms, a gym, spa, fitness center and other facilities. Rainer Becker's Oblix, Hutong and Aquashard are the restaurants available in this London skyscraper.
'The view from the Shard' is located between the 68th and 72nd floor at an altitude of 245 meters. This is the best place to perceive a stunning and magnificent view of the beauty of London and the long flowing River Thames. You will see St Paul's cathedral, London bridge, The London Eye, The Gherkin, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Olympic Stadium, London City Airport, Dover and more from the observation desk.
The Shard's construction began in 2009 and the steel structure was topped out on 30th March 2012. It was inaugurated by Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabber Al Thani, the prime minister of Qatar on 5th July 2012. The laser light shows consisting of 12 lasers and 30 searchlights illuminated the Shard during the inauguration ceremony. The building attained completion on November 2012 and 'The View of The Shard' was opened to the public from 1st February 2013.
London Bridge station is the nearest station and has Bond street to the west, the city to the north and Canary Wharf to the east. The Eurostar terminal at St Pancras is 15 minutes away from the Shard and provides international connectivity.