Shard London Bridge

Shard London Bridge

Infobox Skyscraper
building_name= Shard London Bridge

status= Site under going Demolition
year_built= 2009 - 2012
location= 32 London Bridge Street, London, UK
roof= 306 metres (1,016 feet)
antenna_spire= 310 metres (1,017 feet)
height_stories= 87 (Including Radiator floors)
floor_area= 111,400 m²
architect= Renzo Piano
developer=Sellar Property Group
project manager=Mace
engineer= Arup (up to Planning Approval Stage, also building services), WSP Cantor Seinuk (from Planning Approval Stage)
Services Engineer = Arup

Shard London Bridge, also known as London Bridge Tower, the Shard of Glass and 32 London Bridge is a supertall skyscraper soon to begin construction in London. When completed it will be the tallest building in the United Kingdom, and one of the tallest buildings in Europe.

Design and planning

It would replace Southwark Towers, a 24-storey office building which was completed in 1976. The tower would stand at 1017 feet (310 metres) tall and have 72 floors, plus 15 further radiator floors in the roof, making it the tallest building in the country. Renzo Piano, the building's architect, worked together with architectural firm Broadway Malyan during the planning stage of the project. After a lengthy public inquiry, the collaboration successfully achieved its objective, and the developers were granted full planning permission in November 2003.

The tower was announced with the hope that it would be the tallest building in Europe on completion, surpassing Frankfurt's Commerzbank Tower, which at 849 feet (259 mtrs) had been the tallest building in Europe since 1997. The Commerzbank has since been surpassed in height by two Moscow skyscrapers, Triumph-Palace and Naberezhnaya Tower, both of which the Shard would, in turn, surpass. However, since 2000, there have been three tall skyscrapers in Moscow to begin construction that would rise higher than the Shard, including the 2,009 ft Russia Tower. Still, if completed on schedule, the Shard London Bridge may become the tallest building in the European Union. However, the Tour Generali, a 1,043 ft skyscraper in La Défense of the Paris region, has since been approved, and would receive the title of tallest building in the European Union should it be completed prior to the Shard.

Another London skyscraper, the Bishopsgate Tower, was submitted for planning permission in London and was originally proposed to exceed the height by one metre. However, the scheduled height of the Bishopsgate Tower has now been reduced, so Shard London Bridge could once again become London's tallest occupied building if construction goes ahead. By way of comparison, Britain's tallest free-standing structure is the Emley Moor tower at 330.4 metres, and the tallest man-made structure of any kind in Britain (and the EU) is the Belmont mast at 385 metres.

Renzo Piano, the project's architect, has compared his design to "a shard of glass" - he considers the slender, spire-like form of the tower a positive addition to the London skyline and believes that its presence will be far more delicate than opponents of the scheme allege. He proposes a sophisticated use of glazing, with expressive facades of angled panes intended to reflect light and the changing patterns of the sky, so that the form of the building will change according to the weather and seasons.fact|date=January 2008

In addition to the tower, there would be major improvements to London Bridge station and the surrounding area. As part of a Section 106 legal agreement, these would include a new concourse and public piazza, affordable housing and regeneration programmes. [ [ Greater London Authority ] ] A new museum would also be built.

A hotel, to be operated by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts as their first European location, would be expected to take up around a fifth of the available space in the tower. A large pre-let for office space in the tower has been agreed in principle by Transport for London.

Another notable feature of the building would be a public viewing gallery at the top. This would be expected to draw over 2 million visitors a year, around the same number as those visiting the London Eye. In addition, a shorter building known as London Bridge Place will be built nearby. This will replace the current London Bridge House and the combined sites will create what will be known as The London Bridge Quarter.

Demolition and financing

Work was expected to begin in 2005. However, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the firm who held a long-term lease on Southwark Towers, was not willing to vacate for some time and remained in the building until August 2007.

In September 2007, preparations for the demolition of Southwark Towers [ [ ‘Imagine that you are on level 80 and you want a sandwich. How long will that take you?’ - Building ] ] had begun, but later in the month, turbulence in the financial markets was reported to have put the construction phase of the project into jeopardy. [ [ London's tallest skyscraper grounded by global credit crunch - Telegraph ] ]

In late September 2007, it was reported that the Halabi Family Trust (one of the main backers of the project along with CLS and Sellar Property Group) was going to be forced to sell its stake. [ [ Shard bankers give Halabi 10 days to sell - Business News, Business - ] ]

In November 2007, building contractor Mace won the deal to build the Shard at a fixed price of no more than £350m. The deal was driven by the breakdown in relationships between the Halibi Trust and their partners.Fact|date=December 2007 In January 2008, it was announced that a consortium of Qatari investors had paid £150m to secure an 80% stake and take control of the project. The new owners promised to provide the first tranche of finance, meaning construction of the tower could begin. The consortium included [ Qatar National Bank] , QInvest, Qatari Islamic Bank and the Qatari developer, one of the largest in the region, Barwa Real Estate. The deal involved a buyout of the Halabi and CLS stakes, and part of the Sellar Property stake. [ [ / Companies / UK - Qataris back London's 'Shard' ] ]

In April 2008, demolition of Southwark Towers was visibly underway, with scaffolding and white sheeting covering the building. [ [ Cleveland Bridge favourite for Shard of Glass steel prize ] ]

As of October 2008, Southwark Towers has been substantially reduced in height, and is no longer visible on the skyline. It is still covered in white sheeting and scaffolding.


Piling work is due to begin on site on 5th January 2009 and the building will be completed in 2012.

ee also

*30 St Mary Axe
*Beetham Tower
*Tall buildings in London
*List of tallest buildings and structures in Great Britain



*Powell, Kenneth; "New London Architecture", (2001, Hugh Merell, London), pp. 218–219.

Geo Links


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Overview of London Bridge Tower Project]
* [ Discussions on the tower, with regular news updates]
* [ page on the London Bridge Tower]
* [,11200,1088537,00.html 'Shard of glass' set to join London skyline] ("The Guardian", 19 November 2003)
* [ London Bridge Tower] Design concept of the Shard London Bridge Tower.
* [ Official page on the Shangri-La website, the hotel tenants]
* [ Public comments on the tower]
* [ Article describing the demolition and the tower's construction] (" [] ", 7 September 2007)
* [ The London Bridge BID Company]
* [ WSP Group's dedicated page. WSP Group provides structural engineering services to the Shard of Glass project.]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shard London Bridge — Shard London Bridge …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shard London Bridge — Localisation Localisation 32 London Bridge Street (Londres) Coordonnées …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Shard London Bridge — «Shard London Bridge» Местонахождение Лондон,   …   Википедия

  • Shard London Bridge — Edificio Coste £450 millones Localización …   Wikipedia Español

  • London Bridge Tower — Der Shard London Bridge (vormals London Bridge Tower, auch Shard of Glass) ist ein in London geplanter Wolkenkratzer, der bei seiner Fertigstellung nach jetzigem Stand mit 310 Metern nach dem Moskauer Hochhaus Federazija das zweithöchste Gebäude… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • London Bridge station — Infobox London station name = London Bridge manager = Network Rail zone = 1 borough = Southwark locale = London Bridge start = 14 December 1836 platforms = 15 railcode = LBG railexits0405 = 37.020 railexits0506 = 37.416 railexits0607 = 47.577… …   Wikipedia

  • London Bridge City Pier — Infobox London River Services title=London Bridge City Pier image size = image caption = London Bridge City Pier transit type = River bus and tourist/leisure services operator = London River Services owner =London River ServicesThe London Bridge… …   Wikipedia

  • London Borough of Southwark —   London borough   Coat of arms …   Wikipedia

  • Shard — may refer to:* Sherd, a fragment of pottery, glass or stone * Elytron, a forewing found on some insect species * Shard London Bridge, a planned skyscraper * Meth, another word for the drug meth, reffering to the shard like crystals Popular… …   Wikipedia

  • London — This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. For other uses, see London (disambiguation). London From upper left: City of London, Tower Bridge and London Eye, Palace of Westminster …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.