Love, Hate and Lasers: The Shard Opens Tonight
Londoners will be lining the Thames tonight to see the long-awaited launch of the EU’s tallest building, as the Shard opens its doors in a grand opening ceremony on London Bridge.
At 10.15pm, onlookers will see lasers shoot from the top of the 1,016-foot Shard, the Gherkin and Canary Wharf, as the London Philharmonic Orchestra plays.
At the peak of the performance, the Shard itself will become fully illuminated against the night sky.
ΓÇ£The Shard is the newest London landmark and a beacon of the city of LondonΓÇÖs resilience and expansion, even during tough economic times,ΓÇ¥ says the buildingΓÇÖs joint owner, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud Al-Thani who is Governor of the Qatar Central Bank.
ΓÇ£The lightshow will mark a key moment for the Shard, and one people around the world can enjoy.ΓÇ¥
The light show is not all that can be enjoyed at the Shard. Once open, the building will provide living accommodation, office space, a 5* hotel and views over the glittering metropolis of London from floors 68-72 for ┬ú25 per adult and ┬ú19 per child.
It is hoped that this will help the Shard to become a major capital tourist attraction, as significant and sought-after as ParisΓÇÖs Eiffel Tower.
ΓÇ£Up until now the building was ours,ΓÇ¥ says Renzo Piano, the award-winning Italian architect of the building, ahead of tonightΓÇÖs launch. ΓÇ£Now the building is yours. This building is not going to be a symbol of power.ΓÇ¥
But while many Londoners agree that the Shard is beautiful, beloved and a welcome boost to the tourism industry, others feel that a ΓÇÿsymbol of powerΓÇÖ is exactly what it is.
ΓÇ£We have this massive pyramid slapped down here as a monument to the munificence of the Emirate of Qatar,ΓÇ¥ says Bermondsey Village Action Group spokesperson, Russell Gray. ΓÇ£Yet the price is yet another of the many examples of how the Shard is clearly at odds with the community in which it has defiantly planted itself.ΓÇ¥
ΓÇ£The Thames is to become a ditch of cash running through a canyon of glass,ΓÇ¥ agrees Guardian reporter, Simon Jenkins. ΓÇ£The Shard has slashed the face of London forever.ΓÇ¥
What do you think? Does the opening of the Shard represent an intimidating power display from Qatar or is this a truly historic moment for LondonΓÇÖs iconic skyline?
The Evolution of the Shard…