The Shard is a 95-storey skyscraper in Southwark, London. Standing 309.6 metres (1,016 ft) high, the Shard is the tallest building in the United Kingdom, the 105th tallest building in the world and the fourth tallest building in Europe. Renzo Piano, the project's architect, designed the Shard as a spire-like sculpture emerging from the River Thames. Piano's design met criticism from English Heritage, who claimed the building would be "a shard of glass through the heart of historic London", giving the building its name, the Shard.
Piano proposed a sophisticated use of glazing, with expressive façades of angled glass panes intended to reflect sunlight and the sky above, so that the appearance of the building will change according to the weather and seasons.
The Shard was designed with energy efficiency in mind. It is fitted with a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, operating on natural gas from the National Grid. Fuel is efficiently converted to electricity and heat is recovered from the engine to provide hot water for the building.
The building is designed to maintain its stability under very onerous conditions, with its post-tensioned concrete and composite floors, load-bearing pillars and tapering shape giving it a sway tolerance of 400 millimetres (16 in).
In 2014, The Shard claimed first place at the Emporis Skyscraper Awards, recognising buildings over 100 m (328 ft) completed in the previous twelve months. The Emporis judges hailed the building as "a skyscraper that is recognised immediately and which is already considered London's new emblem".
Published by Armando Villani