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Old May 13th, 2011, 04:44 AM   #6661
Qantas743
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What sort of tenants have signed up for the building? Financials?
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Old May 13th, 2011, 05:57 AM   #6662
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qantas743 View Post
What sort of tenants have signed up for the building? Financials?
They had a lease with Transport of London signed on back in 2006, then last year cancelled it because they felt they could get tenants at higher rents than originally signed for. Not sure if they signed anyone new since though.

Last edited by spectre000; May 13th, 2011 at 06:05 AM.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 12:50 PM   #6663
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Financial services seem the most likely, it's just across the river from the City.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 08:32 PM   #6664
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by anthonySE1.

[IMG]http://i51.************/2bd301.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i55.************/2iu89iq.jpg[/IMG]

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[IMG]http://i51.************/jrfsky.jpg[/IMG]

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Old May 13th, 2011, 08:45 PM   #6665
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Old May 13th, 2011, 09:40 PM   #6666
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Shard times - the glittering symbol of London's future

Whoosh! The builders' lift at the Shard zooms up to the 31st floor of the skeletal skyscraper and the doors open to reveal what will one day be a public area buzzing with plush restaurants and cocktail bars.



Renzo Piano, the 73-year-old Italian architect of the building, steps out of the lift to admire the view. He breathes in the dusty air and smiles contentedly at the heady scent of a construction site in full swing. 'I love all this,' he says, gesturing to the machine pumping concrete to the top of the building, its rhythmic beat sounding like a gigantic heart. 'Designing is OK, but what excites me is making.'

He walks across to the windows and looks out over the City. Way down below us, Toytown size, we can see Tower Bridge and, across the river, St Paul's and the Gherkin. To the right is Canary Wharf, while over to the left we spot Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. Already the Shard is the most talked-about new building in London, its 72-storey core visible from practically every street corner, train carriage or bridge. But the best is yet to come: when the tower reaches its full height of 310m - the tallest building in the EU - and opens completely in 2013, members of the public will be able to ride to the top and get the most thrilling new view of the capital since the London Eye opened in 2000.

Naturally Piano is proud of his achievement, and indeed without his gravitas to convince both planners and financiers the whole scheme might never have got off the ground. He is an architect of impeccable credentials, still best known for the Pompidou Centre in Paris, which he designed in partnership with Richard Rogers when he was just 33. Since then his record for producing some of the world's most admired modern buildings - Kansai airport in Japan, the Paul Klee museum in Switzerland, and the recent extension to the Art Institute of Chicago among them - has stood him in good stead. But the fact that he is the most urbane of men also helps. Today he is dressed in a tweed jacket, pale blue open-neck shirt, cashmere jumper and beige trousers. He is tall, slim and distinguished looking, with grey hair, silver glasses and twinkling grey-blue eyes. He speaks English with a lyrical Italian accent and talks poetically about architecture as the stuff of magic, dreams and desire. It is hard not to fall under his spell.

But Piano's skills as both designer and diplomat have been tested to the limit over the decade since the Shard was first mooted. The project started as the brainchild of the developer Irvine Sellar, who bought the site next to London Bridge station in 1998. Sellar, a colourful character who once owned a chain of shops called Mates selling bell-bottom jeans, had a vision for a skyscraper to replace the shabby existing building and asked a firm of British architects to draw up plans. But early in the process he was advised that he would need a world-class architect if he expected the authorities to look favourably on his audacious proposal. With this in mind he paid a visit to Piano on the site of his building in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. Piano remembers the meeting well. 'We went to a restaurant and I started sketching straight away,' he says. 'Irvine had a fantasy and I believed in it right from the start.'

The project has hit the skids several times since then: first when it was subjected to a year-long public inquiry, and second when the world financial crisis hobbled several of its investors. With construction costs for the tower of around £415 million, finding new backers was no easy task and only when Sellar signed a deal with the Qatar National Bank, which now owns about 80 per cent of the building, did work on the Shard finally begin.

Today, Piano is in London to inspect progress on the skyscraper, which he refers to as his 'baby'. He's travelled by Eurostar from Paris, the city that became his home after he moved there to oversee the construction of the Pompidou Centre in the early 1970s. He lives there with his wife Milly, also an architect, and his 11-year-old son Giorgio. He has three older children from a previous marriage. The family divide their time between Paris and Piano's home city of Genoa, where he has a spectacular cliff-top office accessible only by funicular. In London he stays with Richard Rogers in his cavernous Chelsea townhouse - 'We are like brothers,' he says - and eats at the River Café, the restaurant owned by Rogers' wife Ruth. 'Ruthie learned to cook with us in Paris,' explains Piano. 'We were her guinea pigs.' The two families also spend holidays together every year, and take trips on Piano's 72ft sailing boat, which he designed in collaboration with two American naval architects. 'I built my first boat when I was 18,' he explains, 'but it's too complicated to design a big boat like this alone.' In short, he lives the jet-set life of a superstar architect who has grown rich on fees that are charged as percentages of multimillion-pound projects (even a modest two per cent fee on the Shard would net his practice a cool £8.3 million).

But life for Renzo Piano hasn't always been like this. He was born in Genoa in 1937 and grew up in an Italy ravaged by dictatorship and war. 'I was eight years old when the war ended and so I became an inbuilt optimist because every day from then on was a better day, the street became a bit cleaner, the food became a bit better.' His father was a builder whose workload grew during the reconstruction and young Renzo helped him on his jobs. 'I learned that there is a pleasure in building things,' he says. He had an older brother, also called Renzo, who died before he was born and this, he says, contributed to his determination to succeed. He studied architecture in Milan in the early 1960s and moved to London in 1969 to set up partnership with Rogers. He has fond memories of the three years he lived in Hampstead and his love for the city dates back to that time. It is only in the last year, however, that he has completed his first building here: Central St Giles, a brightly coloured office development behind Centre Point. What does he think his new skyscraper will do for the London?

Piano is quick to promote what he sees as the Shard's innovations. 'It's like a vertical town,' he claims. 'Ten thousand people a day will work in or visit this building because it has offices, a hotel, shops, restaurants and apartments, as well as the viewing galleries. That is something new. This building will become part of London because everybody can visit and mix; that is the nature of good cities.' He also points out that it has only 42 parking spaces: 'So you don't increase the traffic around it but you intensify the life.' As part of the project the dismal concourse at London Bridge station will be replaced and a new public piazza will be opened above it. 'So it will also bring some order to a place that needed it.' Finally, he says, 'If this building is great, it will be because of the glass.' Here he is referring to the 11,000 panels of hi-tech glass in the tower which have had the iron removed to make them completely clear. As a result, he explains, the building 'won't look green like an empty wine bottle' or dark like a pair of sunglasses, but will reflect the weather and the colour of the sky.

Although the Shard has had some high-profile detractors - English Heritage chief executive Simon Thurley raged that it drove 'a spike through the heart of historic London', while the Prince of Wales predictably likened it to an oversized salt cellar - London's design experts are generally enthusiastic. Peter Murray, the chairman of New London Architecture, the centre for debate on the capital's design and planning issues, says, 'I like it as a building, it's a massive improvement on the ghastly lot that was there before. The mixed use of space is creative and the public can go to the top, that's something you can do in at least a dozen buildings in Manhattan but it's new here. It's also interesting for Southwark. Forty years ago it was in a bad way economically and socially and now Tate Modern and the Shard have brought work and other amenities. You might think it's pretty distasteful to have luxury apartments when there's a housing shortage, but it reflects how London's economy is operating on different criteria to the rest of Britain. Twenty-five years ago it was a stuffy, local place, now it's a global city that attracts international finance. On balance I would say that benefits London. I think we will see the Shard become one of the defining symbols of London during the Olympics.'

Londoners may already have taken the Shard to their hearts, but so far the property market is more cautious. Despite the Titanic-style 'newest, tallest, best' kind of publicity, the offices have yet to be pre-let. A luxury hotel chain, Shangri-La, has taken 18 of the mid-level floors, while floors 53 to 65 are earmarked for the apartments. Prices for these have not yet been released, but speculation is that they will be in the same bracket as the Candy brothers development One Hyde Park, designed by Piano's friend Richard Rogers, where flats range from £6.75 million for one bedroom to £135 million for a penthouse.

None of this is Piano's problem, he is more concerned about the long-term legacy of the building. At the end of our meeting we turn back to a model of the Shard, with its miniature impression of St Paul's across the river. 'Every era has a story to tell,' says Piano. 'The story of St Paul's told by Christopher Wren is a good story. The story of the Shard is a different story, but if it's a good story, then what is wrong?' He stops for a moment and thinks. 'I am still a little boy inside, but with 60 years of growing and learning. You store experiences in your mind - social, artistic, historical - and all those things come together in a building, like in good food. Like in a good bouillabaisse.' It's a nice analogy - the Shard as an architectural fish soup. Let's just hope it turns out to be as delicious as it looks.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifest...dons-future.do
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Old May 13th, 2011, 10:29 PM   #6667
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Some more stunning aerial shots from flickr:

[img]image hosted on flickr

london balloon flight 045 by dpe74, on Flickr[/img]

spot big ben below

[img]image hosted on flickr

london balloon flight 033 by dpe74, on Flickr[/img]
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Old May 14th, 2011, 12:29 AM   #6668
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Old May 14th, 2011, 12:30 AM   #6669
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A small assortment of photos taken over the course of today









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Old May 14th, 2011, 01:05 AM   #6670
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Old May 14th, 2011, 02:53 AM   #6671
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Nice posts everyone, let me post some more pics of the Shard taken by wawd

image hosted on flickr

by wawd

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by wawd
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Old May 14th, 2011, 04:14 AM   #6672
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I always love the blurry effect in wawd's pics.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 05:59 AM   #6673
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by The Shard Baby.

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shard today Friday 13.5.2011 by The Shard Baby, on Flickr
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Old May 14th, 2011, 02:11 PM   #6674
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It's become a landmark already from a general perspective. Let's hope it turns out to be just that.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 03:58 PM   #6675
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Those aerial pics above reassure that.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 06:13 PM   #6676
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by anthonySE1.

[IMG]http://i51.************/2irrbbq.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i54.************/2uoo26o.jpg[/IMG]
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Old May 14th, 2011, 10:50 PM   #6677
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by The Shard Baby.

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shard today 14.5.2011 by The Shard Baby, on Flickr
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Old May 14th, 2011, 10:58 PM   #6678
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50% has done?
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Old May 14th, 2011, 11:36 PM   #6679
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Certainly more than that, look at the diagram.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 01:29 AM   #6680
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Quote:
Southwark residents 'to get Shard skyscraper jobs'

The developers behind London's tallest building have vowed to make around 150 jobs available to local people when it opens in 2012. At 1,017ft, The Shard, based at London Bridge, will house up to 12,000 workers when the project is completed.

Developer Sellar Group said it wanted 75% of service and building management jobs to go to residents from the area.

Many of these will come via Southwark College which will offer tailor-made courses for these roles. The policy is meant to prevent all jobs in The Shard being taken by workers from outside Southwark. However, some residents said they were worried local people would mainly end up filling lower-skilled roles in the £450 development, which will include office space, restaurants and apartments.

James Sellar, chief executive, of Sellar Group, said: "This sort of project is really successful when it grounds itself in the local neighbourhood, and we want to make sure that people in the local area relate to it."Ruth Gilbert, chief executive of Southwark College said: "Sellar has engaged with the community and with training providers such as ourselves and said these are the jobs we know we will need to run the building as a starting point. Help us to find people who can do these jobs."

Councillor Fiona Colley, of Southwark Council, said the area has seen the creation of many new jobs during the past decade, but that it still had a much higher rate of unemployment than other parts of London.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13401241
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