Shard London Bridge
Learn more about Shard London Bridge
|Height to tip||310.00 m|
|Height to roof||309.98 m|
|Height to top floor||244.00 m|
|Gross floor area||111,400.00 m²|
|Developer||Sellar Property Group|
It was designed by architect Renzo Piano for a site on the Southwark side of London Bridge, next to London Bridge station, at 32 London Bridge Street. It would replace Southwark Towers, a 24-storey office building which was completed in 1976. The tower will be 310 metres (1016 feet) tall and have 72 floors, plus a further 16 radiator floors in the roof, making it the tallest building in the country. After a lengthy public inquiry, it was granted full planning permission in November 2003.
When it was first announced, it was hoped that it would be the tallest building in Europe on completion. This will no longer be the case, however, as there is a 340 m (1115 ft) building already under construction in Moscow. Another skyscraper, the Bishopsgate Tower, was submitted for planning permission in London and was originally proposed to exceed the height of the Shard by a metre. However, the scheduled height of the Bishopsgate Tower has now been reduced, making the Shard set to become the tallest building in London (and in Britain) once again.
Construction was expected to begin in 2005, with completion in 2009. However in 2004, the company PricewaterhouseCoopers, who hold a long-term lease on Southwark Towers, decided that they were not willing to vacate before 2006. This pushed the potential completion date back to the end of 2010. Actual demolition of the current site is now expected to take place in late 2006 or early 2007, ready in time for the tower to start construction in summer 2007 with completion by the end of 2010.
The current tenants have indicated that they will vacate the premises in mid to late 2007, making an actual demolition date of early 2008 more viable.
The building project will also involve major improvements to the concourse and facilities of London Bridge station. It will include shops, offices and flats as well as a museum and a public piazza. A hotel, to be operated by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts as their first European location, is expected to take up around a fifth of the available space. A large pre-let for office space in the tower was also made by Transport for London, who intend it to be their new headquarters.
Another notable feature of the building will be a public viewing gallery at the top. This is expected to draw over 2 million visitors a year, around the same number who visit the London Eye.
 External links
- Official website
- Skyscrapernews.com page on the London Bridge Tower
- 'Shard of glass' set to join London skyline (The Guardian, 19 November 2003)
- London Bridge Tower Design concept of the Shard London Bridge Tower.
- Public comments on the tower