The Shard: “An exciting place to live, work and play”
The long-awaited addition to London’s evolving skyline, The Shard – officially titled Shard London Bridge, but also known as the Shard of Glass or 32 London Bridge – will tower above the capital’s other skyscrapers at a dizzy 1,017 ft.
The glass property is replacing Southwark Towers, a 1976 office building, and is set to become one of the tallest buildings in Europe upon its planned completion in May 2012.
“The Shard at London Bridge will not only redefine London’s skyline, it will become a symbol for the capital that is recognisable throughout the world,” commented Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property Group, one of the development companies behind the project.
With 72 floors, plus a further 15 floors in the roof, the property will provide office space along with a hotel, homes, a restaurant and a viewing gallery at the top.
Architect Renzo Piano’s unique design pays tribute to London’s past.
“The architecture of The Shard is firmly based in the historic form of London’s masts and spires,” commented Renzo Piano. “The shape of the tower is generous at the bottom and narrow at the top, disappearing in the air like a 16th century pinnacle or the mast top of a very tall ship.”
The Shard is part of the ┬ú2billion London Bridge Quarer that has been developed with the intention of transforming the Southwark area into a thriving destination.
“This is all about the regeneration for the area,” commented public relations consultant Baron Phillips. “This will be a part of everything already on the South Bank from Borough Market to Bankside. We want to make it an exciting place to live, work and play.”
Aside from The Shard, the Quarter development project will see the construction of London Bridge Place – another office building, but one that will be considerably shorter than The Shard. London Bridge Station will also get its share of refurbishment as part of the scheme.
According to Wharf.co.uk, Baron said: “The idea came about because there were calls from government for new skyscrapers focused around transport hubs.” Figures show that around 350,000 people a day travel through the area, so the new development means that commuters and visitors will soon be able “to come straight out of the station and up the lifts to their office.”
As reported on our blog in June, Transport for London (TfL) initially signed up for 200,000 sq ft of office space in The Shard in 2006, but recently had their contract bought out by the very developers that are building the new skyscraper.
“It suited us and them for us to buy them out. It’s a tremendous reflection on the outlining strength of the market,” commented Baron.
He continued: “We don’t expect to let all the space to one tenant. We expect it to be lawyers and City type businesses. The market currently is so strong – there will be over the next four years a lot of leases for renewal or break.”
Find out more about The Shard at www.shardlondonbridge.com.