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Old December 20th, 2009, 05:02 PM   #1941
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by Nihil Dicit.
Love that picture
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Old December 21st, 2009, 02:20 AM   #1942
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From a gigantic pit, the 1,016-foot shard is emerging, polarising opinion on its ascent above Canary Wharf

From The TimesDecember 21, 2009
London’s new icon or an ugly scar on the skyline

All day, every day, pedestrians stop on a temporary footbridge leading from London Bridge station to Guy’s Hospital and stare in wonder at the vast hole, the size of 25 Olympic swimming pools, that has opened up below them.

The great, noisy, floodlit pit swarms with workers in fluorescent jackets. It bristles with cranes, excavators and jackhammers. And from its centre, on scores of piles sunk deeper than Nelson’s Column and each as thick as two oak trees, protrudes the core of what will soon be Europe’s tallest building.

Credit crunch and critics notwithstanding, the Shard is rising — and it is some “green shoot”. From now on, its steel and concrete skeleton will grow by nearly two storeys a week. Soon it will tower over Guy’s, Borough Market and poor old Southwark Cathedral. By late 2011 it will reach 1,016 ft (310 m), dominating London’s skyline and dwarfing Canary Wharf (771 ft), the Gherkin (590 ft) and every other landmark in the capital.

Designed by Renzo Piano, the Italian architect, it would have been taller still, 1,450 ft, had the Civil Aviation Authority not imposed the 1,000 ft limit. “We got away with the extra 16 because we’re on lower ground,” Irvine Sellar, the market-stall holder turned property magnate behind the £1.4 billion project, says with a chuckle.

When completed in May 2012, the Shard will be a “vertical city” with the 12 highest apartments in the UK, a five-star hotel, offices, restaurants, bars and shops. More than 12,000 people will work there and in the 17storey “Baby Shard” next door. The four floors of public galleries will have views of the South Downs, the Channel or France — depending on which promotional claim you believe.

Where nine glass facades that encase the Shard meet in a splintered pinnacle, there will be a “contemplation room”.

The 87-storey Shard will contain 17,000 tons of steel, 54,000 cubic metres of concrete and 56,000 square metres of glass — all on a footprint of one acre. It will have 44 lifts, two running from top to bottom, and 306 flights of stairs.

But there will be only 48 parking spaces. This is because it will stand atop new London Bridge bus and train stations served by six rail lines, two Tube lines and 15 bus routes. During the construction, a monitoring team is constantly watching for ground movements that could shift the railway lines a ruinous millimetre, or for vibrations that could disrupt the sensitive electron microscopes in Guy’s.

The Shard has plenty of critics. English Heritage calls it “a spike through the heart of historic London”. Simon Jenkins, the National Trust chairman and newspaper columnist, calls it “a relic of Ken Livingstone’s desperate bid to imitate Manhattan or Dubai, a thundering great icon to the debt mountain plonked down in Southwark’s still intimate streetscape like a phallus from capitalist outer space”.

But its proponents see it as a symbol of the capital’s recovery — concrete (and glass) proof of the city’s world-class status. They say that it will regenerate the run-down heart of old London, and that building the city upwards means it need not spread outwards: “tall not sprawl”.

It is a “tangible example of how the capital is powering its way out of the recession,” Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, says. It “is a clear and inspiring example of confidence in the capital’s economy”.

His predecessor, Mr Livingstone, has predicted that the Shard “will be for London what the Empire State Building is for New York”. Mr Sellar proclaims that it will be a “symbol for London that will last for centuries”. He quickly adds: “At least two.”

For Mr Sellar, 70, the Shard is the culmination of what he calls a “very long journey”. He was raised in North London, left school at 16, opened a market stall in St Albans at 17, sold flared jeans on Carnaby Street in the Swinging Sixties, and built up the Mates fashion chain. Retail led to property development. He went bust in the crash of 1990, but bounced back and is now worth £210 million, according to The Sunday Times Rich List. He lives in Mayfair and drives a black Rolls- Royce with the number plate BUY 1S.

Mr Sellar bought Southwark Towers, an ugly 1970s office block that the Shard will replace, for £37 million in 1998. Mr Piano produced a design based, he says, on the church spires and tall ship sails of Canaletto’s 18th-century London. They applied for planning permission only months after the destruction of the World Trade Centre, which, says Mr Sellar, “very nearly scuppered it” — the Shard will have “refuges” built into its core.

The plan scraped past the council, but then faced a public inquiry where conservation groups led by English Heritage claimed that it would usurp St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and London’s skyline. John Prescott, then Deputy Prime Minister, finally granted approval in November 2003 because the proposed tower was “of the highest architectural quality”.

Two of Mr Sellar’s partners dropped out. He lined up finance from Credit Suisse, but the credit crunch put paid to that. Finally, a consortium of Qatari banks rode to the rescue and now has an 80 per cent stake in the project. “There were many, many moments when I thought we might not make it,” Mr Sellar says.

Even now people say that he is crazy to proceed in a recession. Comparable projects, including the “Cheesegrater” and the “Walkie Talkie”, have been put on hold. Office building in London is at its lowest level in 30 years. Commercial rents have halved. But where others see gloom, he sees opportunity. When the Shard is finished, he argues, the recession will be over and London will be desperately short of highly regarded new office space. “You succeed in spite of people, never with their help,” he tells the naysayers. “Our confidence is absolute.”

The Shard certainly excites those looking from the footbridge. “It’s amazing, fantastic,” Angus Murray, a travel agent who comes daily to watch its progress, says. “There was loads of controversy about the Gherkin but people love it now. This will be the same.”

“It’s going to do the area a lot of good,” Alyson Parker, a PA at Guy’s, says. But, she adds: “It’ll make the hospital look like a matchbox.”
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Old December 21st, 2009, 09:29 PM   #1943
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I've created a Twitter page for the Shard -

http://twitter.com/LondonShard

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Old December 21st, 2009, 10:12 PM   #1944
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PortoNuts View Post

When completed in May 2012, the Shard will be a “vertical city” with the 12 highest apartments in the UK, a five-star hotel, offices, restaurants, bars and shops. More than 12,000 people will work there and in the 17storey “Baby Shard” next door. The four floors of public galleries will have views of the South Downs, the Channel or France — depending on which promotional claim you believe.
What does he mean? I haven't seen any rendering of that "annex" building so far.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 10:16 PM   #1945
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I am suprised that London...

... is allowing these types of skyscrapers in the midst of the crowded "London Style" structures? Does anyone know if London is going to allow 40+ floor structures in just about any district or are they limited it to areas such as Canary Wharf?

The Shard is a interesting design! That's for sure!
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 03:06 AM   #1946
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Quote:
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What does he mean? I haven't seen any rendering of that "annex" building so far.


Clear now?.....
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:12 AM   #1947
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Might want to move that arrow down more or he'll think you're pointing to the parking lot behind the tower instead.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 04:07 PM   #1948
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by cybertect.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 10:03 PM   #1949
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There's a video today .

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjfox View Post
A video from today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzueIBwgEtk


You can download the hi-res version here -

http://www.willfox.com/videos/skyscrapers/shard/4.wmv
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 12:24 PM   #1950
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This is going to be an amazing building for London and will completely transform the skyline - can't wait to see it!
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Old December 24th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #1951
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by BorderBoy.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 06:11 PM   #1952
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bmggmm./.?
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Old December 24th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #1953
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i like the last pic cos it shows in the top left the heron tower going up to be the tallest in the uk and this one thinking " you will be ,but not for long" .
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Old December 24th, 2009, 08:33 PM   #1954
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i like the last pic cos it shows in the top left the heron tower going up to be the tallest in the uk and this one thinking " you will be ,but not for long" .
True. It's amazing the soap opera one can make up with skyscrapers.
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Old December 25th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #1955
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The Shard : in pictures on BBC.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8430034.stm
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Old December 27th, 2009, 05:04 PM   #1956
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A render made by chest with a picture taken by SE9.

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Old December 27th, 2009, 07:20 PM   #1957
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wow look really magnific the last up date
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Old December 28th, 2009, 09:28 PM   #1958
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the whole Shard site from today

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Old December 28th, 2009, 09:43 PM   #1959
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I agree what a beautiful building.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 05:48 PM   #1960
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image hosted on flickr


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