The Shard, known officially as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge, and formerly London Bridge Tower, is a 72-storey tower, designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano. It stands at the tip of Canary Wharf. Renzo Piano worked for Fiat during the 1950s and designed theagus of the Eiffel Tower. In 1992, he began working with designer Arthur Lloyd, who designed the London bridge structure.
The Shard is one of the world’s seven-star hotels, and is home to the worlds tallest building, the Chrysler building. Located on London’s trendy West End the skyscraper is an icon in itself. The building, which has two towers and the lower retail and office floors on the first floor, along with a number of shops, restaurants and bars on the upper floors, all adds up to make it a like a mini London in a given respect. The Shard was made with a concrete foundation and hence cannot be considered a green building, although it does have trees lining its facade.
When the skyscraper was completed, it was the tallest building in west London, and was meant to be the tallest building in Europe as well. However, it is not the tallest building in Europe, as the Eiffel Tower is taller. However, this does not diminish the attraction of this skyscraper, because it is considered a jewel in the crown, and one of the top attractions in London. It can take up to three days to climb up to its retail and office floors, so be sure that you have plenty of time left before you plan on visiting.
The lower retail and office floors of the tower are comprised of flats and are sold by owner occupiers. The elevators operate using cables, and the lifts have to be manually operated. Only shops on the top floors are operated by their own elevators. The Shard’s retail and office floors also house a hotel, which is a nice addition, since the Tower is located in a prime location in London’s skyline.
The Shard is supposed to open for business from January 1st to apruary 7th. However, the actual opening may vary according to the weather forecast for the coming months. For those who plan to visit the London Bridge from January, the forecast states that the weather will be fine, with sunny spells. For those who want to visit from a different time, the forecast states that the Tower will be open on January 8th, and it could be open on January 9th or 10th.
As with any project of this magnitude, the safety measures being put into place are paramount. Therefore, security has been increased after consultation with the London Ambulance Service, London Met Police, and the City of London Police. Furthermore, extra guards have been stationed at the top floor and all elevators, as well as close to the pedestrian entrances. CCTV cameras and panic buttons have also been installed. Security personnel will also be on duty at all times.
When construction work began in the summer of 2020, the scaffoldings were made of wood, but due to the extremely high temperatures of the concrete floors, it proved extremely hazardous for the workers. At one point, several people on the scaffold were burned. To make matters worse, the scaffolds soon cracked under the weight of the concrete, which is extremely dangerous for people who are working at height. In addition, it was discovered that the wiring system of the tower was flawed, and this meant that more weight was placed on the supporting legs, which in turn strained them and broke several supports.
When the construction began in earnest in February 2020, it went smoothly, with only minor problems such as damp in the damp proofing. However, several months later, the scaffolding at the bottom of the tower began to break down. When work finished on the building in April 2020, only half of the floor was completely completed. Whilst construction halted, work on reconstructing the lower part of the building continued but was halted again in August of that year.