The Shard is the name given to this skyscraper centrally positioned in the heart of London bridge. Designed by Renzo Piano, the skyscraper has been recorded as the highest skyscraper in Europe. It has recently been appointed the best skyscraper in the old-country, according to the prestigious Council on Tall Buildings and Human Habitat, which presents awards to the most impressive buildings worldwide each year.
The 300 metre tall “crystal shard” with a total of 87 floors, of which 72 are habitable, lavished in 11,000 glass panels (the equivalent of eight football pitches put together) was officially launched in July 2012, in the gear up for the London Olympics. That said, it has already become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Britain.
There are multiple reasons that have led the international organization to bestow it this praise and recognition: without doubt for its intrinsic characteristics, but also for the improvements that it has brought to the city of London, above all thanks to its perfect integration into the urban setting and more importantly for its environmental sustainability (95% of the building materials used are recycled and the positioning of the mirrors was designed to take advantage of the sunlight, in order to optimize the consumption of electricity).
The striking building is situated in the elegant Southwark, not far from the famous art gallery the Tate Modern and the London Eye. The interior of the building houses a luxurious five star hotel, offices and luxurious high-end apartments complete with top quality facilities typical of an exclusive structure, such as some of the most renowned restaurants in London.
However, the winning strong point of the building is its spectacular view which can be enjoyed from the terrace on the 72nd floor: an enchanting view expanding over 40 miles (approximately 64km) that extends from Tower Bridge to Big Ben, from St. Pauls Cathedral and Buckingham Palace as far as the new Olympic Stadium.