London’s pride – The Shard

London, with its historical buildings, palaces and tourist attractions is the hottest tourist spot, perhaps in the whole of Europe.

What makes the city all the more exciting is that it is a perfect blend of the modern with the medieval and this makes it a magnet to tourists from all over the world.

One of the most breathtaking modern architectural additions to the London landscape has been The Shard. The name is befitting because at first glance the edifice looks like an agglomeration of the shards of glass clumped together. Some other rather interesting facts of this brilliant architecturalmasterpiece are:

It stands an impressive 310 m and has 95 storeys, which help it qualify as one of the tallest structures in Western Europe. It was the brainchild of the renowned architect Renzo Piano who wanted a structure to reflect the changing London vista. The most intriguing part is that it is made of recyclable material with over 95% of construction material and approx 50% of recyclable steel. Its three layers of glass skin minimises heat while allowing light to filter in. This leads to a fall in carbon emissions and makes it one of the most eco-friendly buildings in London.

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Despite its positive features it did not find favour with local planners and English Heritage, who were highly scathing and even stated it would be akin to “a shard of glass through the heart of historic London” whence the name was derived. With amazing views of up to 40 miles on a clear day, it offers a most spectacular sight of London’s skyline. There are 72 floors inhabited with offices, shops and restaurants, residential apartments and even a 5 star hotel. Some of the best London hotels cannot offer the unparalleled views that the Shard offers its residents and visitors.

Its pyramidal shape that has approximately 11,000 panes of glass, gives it a most distinct and ritzy look quite unlike any other structure in its surroundings. It embraces a futuristic look that would make it contemporary even in the next century. Although entry fee to the building is a bit steep it is well worth a visit.

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