News In Depth
Shard declared open by Duke of York
Europe's tallest building has been officially unveiled in central London.
The Shard's tapered design and glass panelling have already made the skyscraper one of the capital's most noticeable landmarks.
Just yards from the banks of the River Thames in Southwark, it seems to pierce the sky as it shoots more than 1,000ft into the air.
The tower, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, will contain offices, exclusive residences, a luxury hotel, restaurants and a viewing gallery across 72 floors which can be occupied.
There are a further 15 levels which make up the "spire" - six of which have the potential to be used, with another nine exposed to the elements.
The 1,016ft (309.6m) skyscraper was inaugurated by the prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of Qatar, Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, and The Duke of York.
Andrew said after pressing a black button to mark the unveiling: "I'm extremely pleased to see that this is going to give this quarter of London a huge new boost.
"And I hope that the people who will come and work here and live around here will truly appreciate not only the hard work that the entire team have put together, but also they'll recognise the relationship and investment that has been put in by both the UK and Qatar.
"And I'm sure that we would all be extremely glad if this could be repeated in a number of other areas across the UK."
The Shard is joint-owned by the state of Qatar and the Sellar Property Group, and it was funded by the Qatar National Bank. It was originally only nicknamed The Shard after Mr Piano described the building as a "shard of glass" in the planning stages, but the name stuck.
Londoners will be treated to a spectacular laser show to be projected from the skyscraper.
The event marks the completion of the exterior of the building, with work on the inside expected to continue into 2013.
Its tenure at the top of the European height chart is likely to be short-lived, as the 1,089ft (332m) Mercury City Tower in Russia is set to be completed by the end of the year.
what do you think?
Have the saudis bought it yet?
Im sure it will be flogged off cheap to some foreign country.
........He had 10,000 men, he marched them up to the top of the shard and he marched them down again...........
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Ugly eyesore, completely out of place.
I guess you're talking about the Prince?
One day son we will build a monument of xxxx and call it the Shard it will represent what the City of London is made from.:))
did he charter a plane to get there !!
I hope that he got to the "point" quickly!
So not only are we building totally out of place eyesores but we don't even own it. How on earth did Prince Charles allow that one to go ahead?
I assume he was not asked to open it hence the spares involvment
Funnily enough - there were those who disliked the present St Pauls Cathedral when it was built too!
Is it not time that 25% of the space in new building should be set aside for social housing This building will house a large work force - where are they going to live - not locally the flats are to be on the market for 50 million each
Do not worry, there will still be lots of bankers, able to buy, this just shows how far we go to assist people on low incomes
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A world beating 32mtr Lego tower has just been completed this weekend.........Looked better than this piece of rubbish