I left London in 2011 and returned in 2013 to a skyline pierced by a brand new building – the Shard.
Why is it called “The Shard”? According to the official guidebook, the name “derives from the building’s sculpted design, which consists of tapering glass facets that do not meet at the top. The summit resembles jagged shards of glass, while the building as a whole is reminiscent of an inverted icicle”.
It has been described as being “like an intergalactic spear” (by London’s Mayor Boris Johnson) and as “a knife in the heart of London” (by singer Marc Almond).
From the viewing gallery on the 72nd floor of the Shard, many of London’s landmarks look small and (in the words of Father Ted) far away. But one building still impressed me with its beauty and strength – Saint Paul’s Cathedral.
I also know a good place to go for a shot of the Cathedral lined up in front of the Shard. It’s the street corner where Farringdon Road meets Greville Street.
A little piece of Asia will open soon (UPDATE: it opens today, 6 May 2014!) at the Shard – the Shangri-la Hotel. At which point I shall just forget the architecture, and enjoy the luxury. Who wants to join me for dinner on the 35th floor and champagne on the 52nd floor?