1,300,000 sq ft
Offices, retail, apartments, restaurants, hotel, viewing gallery
State of Qatar
Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Sellar, the Shard’s developer and joint owner, and architect Renzo Piano, had an ambitious vision to create an architecturally striking vertical city incorporating retail, offices, hotel, apartments, restaurants and a public viewing gallery. The idea was to build a diverse vibrant community, and provide multiple areas within which the public could experience the building and its magnificent views. And all of this astride one of London’s major transport hubs.
With its iconic spire rising 95 storeys above the Thames, the Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe. Inspired by Gothic cathedrals and the masts of ships, it’s a true masterpiece of modern engineering and design - a beacon for the capital.
The Shard was conceived as a mixed-use development, a vertical city packed with living, working and experiential spaces and today, it’s home to many global businesses from different business sectors, across 26 floors of office space. The building also hosts the five-star Shangri-La Hotel, Oblix, Hutong and Aqua Shard restaurants, luxury residences and a viewing gallery 243 metres above the city streets.
Located adjacent to London Bridge Station, one of the capital’s busiest transport hubs, the Shard is extraordinarily well-connected and accessible. Every aspect of the structure sets a new standard for commercial space, with an emphasis on how design can, quite literally, elevate the modern workplace. Spacious offices are flooded with natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows and unrivalled views of the London cityscape. Each office floor also features three naturally ventilated Winter Gardens, each a perfect place to rest and recharge.
“THE VISION FOR THE SHARD WAS TO CREATE AN ARCHITECTURALLY STRIKING VERTICAL CITY INCORPORATING RETAIL, OFFICES, HOTEL, APARTMENTS, RESTAURANTS AND A PUBLIC VIEWING GALLERY.”
The story of the Shard begins in 1998, when the site was acquired by our very own founder and guiding light, Irvine Sellar, not long before the government began to encourage high-density development close to transport hubs.
Together with his son James and renowned architect Renzo Piano, Irvine set to work on planning an ambitious world-class building which would capture people’s imaginations. The road to completion wasn’t smooth, however. The project faced a lengthy planning process, funding shortages during the financial crisis, and a high-profile public enquiry. In 2008, the State of Qatar, which shared the vision, became a partner. The Shard was finally opened to the public in 2013, a testament to the determination and innovative spirit of those that built it.