The View from The ShardView map
The Shard is already a gleaming icon on London’s horizon
oaring up into the sky, Renzo Piano’s 1,016ft structure features a five-star hotel, three floors of restaurants and a public viewing platform way up on the 72nd floor.
The use of sophisticated glazing techniques on the building’s façade reflect the city surrounding it as well as the sky into which it reaches, like the spire of an enormous glass cathedral. The crystalline effect is dazzling.
Make sure you look up when you get to the base of the building for a real sense of the scale. The proportions are massive. This is the tallest building in the European Union. The lift journey to the viewing platform is done in two stages due to the inclining shape of the sharp monolith. Travelling at around six metres per second, you’ll rocket to the first enclosed viewing level to be met by the sounds of ethereal music befitting a view from among the clouds. Higher still and the platform is open, allowing air from an altitude of over 1,000ft to pour in.
On a clear day the views are simply spectacular, reaching well beyond the schematic of the Tube Map that most residents and visitors use to visualise the city. An entirely new view of London’s global landmarks, including The Tower of London, St Paul’s and Tower Bridge, stretches out to the 360-degree horizon. Dare to look down and you’ll see the city’s railways and roads in continuous motion, transporting people throughout the capital as the sinuous Thames weaves its way around the granite, concrete and glass. The sheer scale of the metropolis is staggering. To the east are the hills of Kent, shrouded in cloud; to the west Windsor Castle. Still below you, the EDF London Eye and the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf soar above the chimney pots and rooftops of London. It is a view which will stay with you long after you’ve made your way back down.
The Shard’s viewing galleries opened to the public on 1 February 2013.
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