Monday, 31 January 2011

The Shard: London's newest tallest building

London, Britain even, has a new tallest building. The Shard is still on the way up - this is how it looked last week - but it has already gone higher than One Canada Square at Canary Wharf. This may sound ridiculously obvious, but it really is incredibly high: to stand beneath it and look towards its disappearing summit is to look into a place where nothing, apart from the occasional feral pigeon or police helicopter, has any right to be.

Its designer, Renzo Piano of Pompidou Centre fame, has said that its top "would come to almost nothing", by which he means, I think, a point, above which will be exactly nothing. After 72 storeys, including a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck, there will be another 15 "radiator floors".

It is difficult to pass judgment on a building that isn't even finished yet, but the Shard does look a little remote from the rest of London's high-rise architecture, and I get the feeling that its glassiness and straight lines will mean it ages quickly. As I draw it from London Bridge, people continually stop, stare and photograph it. And from an unrepresentative sample of a couple of conversations with them, praise was not immediately forthcoming.

1 comment:

jacqui boyd said...

I love this picture, don't know why but I do. I was sat looking at your picture we have on the wall and thinking I love that new picture. Is it for sale? I think it because its incomplete, the building, much like London always is.