MODERN LONDON: The Shard|GianFranco Belloli|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2018.06.07
  • MODERN LONDON: The Shard
And here I am, finally talking to you about a skyscraper that brings a bit of Italian "genius" to the world: The Shard, designed by the famous architect Renzo Piano.
Since 2012 (the year of its inauguration) it is the highest skyscraper in Western Europe with its 310 meters of height distributed on 87 floors.
The inauguration took place exactly in July 2012, a few months before the start of the London Olympics.
It has an irregular triangular shape and is entirely covered in glass.
In my opinion one, if not the most beautiful sight on London.
360 degrees of emotions in a real journey upwards, yes, because the fast elevator (which can travel up to 6 meters per second) is also part of the experience: inside the elevator a screen reproduces video images of the ascent as if the elevator had no walls.
After a few seconds, the doors open and you find yourself on a floor that can be walked on all 4 sides with huge windows designed to offer a 360-degree view of the city just below.
For the first few minutes I must say that I felt a bit of vertigo, but the feeling of dizziness immediately left me as I got overwhelmed with amazement.
From this floor with a short staircase you reach another level where the main difference from the one below is that it is partly uncovered and on sunny days some deckchairs are laid out to relax.


The Shard from down below

Curiosities about the Shard:
I read that during the construction of the skyscraper, a fox was found on its seventy-second floor.
It is thought to have survived thanks to food and water left behind by workers who were working on its construction.
The Shard was named so due to its innovative shape.
On the 31st floor there is a chic restaurant called Aqua Shard which serves typical English dishes with an innovative twist and located on the 32nd floor is Oblix which offers a sophisticated urban lunch with a menu designed by chef Becker, all dishes cooked with a spit, charcoal grill and wood-fired ovens. From meat to fish there is something for everyone.
There is even a Chinese restaurant and bar located on the 35th floor.
Located at 135 meters above the view of London the place is fantastic and its menu featuring a modern European cuisine with an Asian touch.
If you like to sleep with your head in the clouds at The Shard there is also a hotel: the Shangri-La, a very fancy and luxurious hotel with, needless to say, breath-taking views of the centre of London.
In occasion of the approaching Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle the hotel is offering a special Afternoon Tea Package to celebrate the ceremony.
Many are also the private events and ceremonies held on the Shard and parts of it are available for rent (although at very high prices) to host corporate events, weddings or fundraising gala events.
Shard London Bridge, Shard of Glass, 32 London Bridge and the Shard are the four names with which the famous skyscraper is known in the Southwark area of ​​London, near the London Bridge.
It is said that the cost was about 400 million pounds but they are soon retrieving the costs thanks to its restaurants and the cost of tickets going up.
Millions are the visitors each year coming to take a look at the view.


Shard views

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  • GianFranco Belloli
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I moved to London over 2 years ago but only last year I started writing for a local newsletter for Expats in London telling about my experience in this big city and giving advice to newcomers. London is a very dynamic city and has a lot for everyone but it’s important to have a local point of view to navigate it without getting lost. Let me be your guide to hidden London!

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