The Shard

Freshly constructed, Europe’s tallest building looks like a giant alien mothership has landed.

106 thoughts on “The Shard

  1. There’s been a lot of criticism of ‘The Shard’ but worth remembering that it replaced two rather grim office towers that no-one loved with a world-class building. But yes I would rather central London wasn’t being being randomly peppered with towers, however striking individually. And there’s much worse being built just across the river, and more to come.

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  2. Says a lot about the current trend of English culture. The stunning new intermixed with the traditional old. Some may disagree but, I feel, it illustrates London very well. Lovely picture. 🙂

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  3. Wow, that is quite the contrast between old and new buildings! That’s how I felt when Chicago almost build a really tall, narrow spiral building. Thank goodness it didn’t go through!

    Cheers!

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    1. Thanks for the London Bridge information there. It’s interesting that they built it in such an historic area (half the street names are from Dicken’s novels, for example) as opposed to near Canary Wharf.

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      1. It wouldn’t have got permission near Canary Wharf. One Canada Square at 771ft/235m is pretty much at the height ceiling to allow planes to descend into the City Airport nearby

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  4. I think this is a fantastic new addition to the London Skyline…along with several other recent new additions it finally gives London a sense of moving into the 21st century. While I fully agree on saving some of the beautiful historic buildings, there are a lot of eyesores too that can (should) be replaced, as the Shard has done – the previous structures at that site were awful!

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  5. That’s a fantastic shot! It’s pretty cool looking, but I’m torn on how I feel about it standing out so much in the London skyline… Thanks for sharing and congrats on being freshly pressed!

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  6. Does it fit with the architecture? No. But is it better than some other buildings already in London or would be? Yes. Doesn’t seem very tall. Maybe I am just used to San Francisco. Very nice picture though!

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  7. The shard references the traditional church spire or ship’s mast, both icons of London’s past skyline along the river. What could be more apropos for our times than supersizing the metaphor and incorporating a shopping mall and a few apartments for the 1%? The only reason such projects get approved is with the name of a celebrity architect behind it. For better or worse, the culture’s adoration of starchitects yields buildings like the Shard, the Centre Pompidou, or Gehry’s Bilbao. Personally I feel there’s a lot to like about these playful and/or imposing structures.

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    1. Having a consortium of Qatari billionaires and a crazy businessman certainly seems to help as well. Thanks for the architectural insight. Imposing is definitely a good description.

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  8. Just looks odd to me. The only thing going for the building is it has that,” I look different than the rest” sort of impression. However, in a few year’s time, from the looks of the construction on the left side of this photo, it will not be so unique. Despite my critique of the building, I do think this is a lovely photo and will be an interesting, historical image. Nice job.

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      1. I agree. I was a bit disappointed because the expectations had be raised by all the anticipation. However, the show was great. I think it was a bit repetitive and it lasted for too long. Where I was standing, many people were booing and leaving saying it was horrendous- I think that was definitely an overreaction. Were they expecting the aliens to land on the top and sing like Michael Jackson? ahah! All I can say is I am happy I was there.

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      2. Sometimes people seem to enjoy the act of complaining more than the thing they are complaining about. I’ll make sure to go the next time, when the alien starts singing!

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  9. I loves it. Althought admittedly having stood at it’s foot after a few wines, it has made me want to throw up, but there was a crane loitering precariously on it’s summit. And I do get vertigo. And I was a bit drunk.

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  10. I am in two minds about the Shard. I think it is great to have something new and exciting (although I don’t think the design itself is very exciting) in London but it is out of place where it currently is. I have to say though this is the first picture of it where I thought that it looked good.

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  11. I know its design is controversial, but IMO London has always been a city of sharp contrasts and eclectic styles. The modern regularly appears alongside the old. There’s iconic architecture spanning centuries of aesthetic development and tastes; over time, it all becomes part of the vernacular. I love the Shard; it’s a new icon, with all the controversy, opinion-splitting and drama such a new development SHOULD entail.

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  12. I like it when old buildings are mixed with brand new shiny ones! Cities that mix lots of architectural styles are really interesting to explore. The Shard might not be to everyone’s taste but at least it’s bold. I’d love to be at the top towering over London!

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    1. and congrats on getting Freshly Pressed, the picture is beautiful, and odd at the same time, I actually like it. 🙂

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  13. Great shot…….given people’s comment of it looking out of place……the areas grimey and dirty its gonna look out of place give it a couple of years and it will be the glass won’t be as shiny….the height….until other scrapers are built around it – it is gonna look out of place up close, but from the distance it will fit into the skyline of the city and canary wharf……unlike some of the proposals floating around for the Square Mile itself.

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  14. Looks creepy.
    Freemasons and all sorts of conspiracy theories come to mind.
    I bet it has checkered flooring inside somewhere.

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  15. The skyline used to be dominated by St Paul’s Cathedral, a building that survived the Blitz. Now St Paul’s is dwarfed by this oil-funded monstrosity. Tallest building in Europe makes England (or rather those who funded the Shard) look very insecure.

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  16. Great picture, but am I the only one who is completely underwhelmed by this building and cannot understand all the hype and praise for it?

    From what I understand, much of the top section is completely unusable as office or living space and has therefore been left exposed to the elements. I would guess that the intention is to use these areas as high-rise garden spaces for office workers to chill out in, with chill being the operative word – particularly during a cold and wet London winter – or even our current wet summer. Ok, so usable space isn’t really the main goal when creating a landmark building, but in the race to create Europe’s tallest building, this for me, just looks like a modern interpretation of a church spire. It shows none of the vision that brought us the Gherkin or City Hall buildings, and certainly doesn’t compete on a the world stage of architecture.

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