Offbeat: Europe’s tallest building officially opened


The Shard. Photo courtesy of Sellar Development

Europe’s tallest building, The Shard, officially opened in London yesterday.

The 310 m (1,016 ft) tall glass pyramid structure was officially inaugurated  by Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabor Al Thani of Qatar, who bankrolled the lion’s share of its construction, at 3:15 pm yesterday . Later that day, the Shard displayed its dominance over the London skyline by firing laser beams at other iconic buildings at a 10:10 pm light show. (See below)

London’s iconic buildings. Graphics courtesy of The BBC.

The EU’s tallest building for now – Russia’s 1,089ft Mercury City Tower is set to be completed by the end of this year – will have office space at its base. Higher up, apartments, restaurants and, most interestingly, The 5-star Shangri-La London hotel, which whose opening we can hardly wait for, will compete with the view for visitors’ attentions.

The Shard was conceived on the back of a menu at a restaurant in Berlin when veteran property developer Irvine Sellar and renowned architech Renzo Piano met in 2000. The Shard’s restaurants, hotel and viewing galleries, where – weather permitting – people will be able to see as far as France, are not expected to open until February 2013. The viewing gallery alone is expected to draw more than a million people each year.

Tickets to the iconic building’s viewing gallery which will open to the public in February 2013 went on sale at 9 am (BST) today, and can be bough from www.theviewfromtheshard.com and booking line: +44 (0)844 49 7111.

 

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