Skyscraper Update: The Shard Starts To Climb
And so, finally, to Southwark, where one of Europe’s tallest buildings is beginning to rise. The Shard may not be more than a handful of steel beams at this stage, but it’s already a firm fixture in the London psyche. The tower was first mooted by architect Renzo Piano almost a decade ago. After years of planning and funding difficulties, the Shard has now begun its ponderous climb, which will see it reach up to 310 metres – a height that will not only make it the tallest building in London but also the loftiest in the European Union.
Inside the frame, the basement levels look fairly well advanced.
For now, though, the Shard stands a mere four storeys high. A large excavation to the south of London Bridge Station marks the spot where Southwark Towers, itself a sizeable building, stood until earlier this year. Around the pit’s edge, a series of slightly angled white beams have been installed – the lower sections of the eventual tower. The central core is expected to rise in the next couple of months. It should be complete before the Olympics.