When it is completed later this year, the Shard at London Bridge will be the tallest skyscraper in the European Union. But it’s a prize it won’t keep for long: earlier this week officials in Paris approved a pair of towers that will be taller than their Anglo rival, reports the Telegraph.
Hermitage Plaza, in the French capital’s La Defense district, is designed by Norman Foster, and consists of twin 323m towers, fully 13m taller than the Shard’s 310m apex (and, traditionalists may wish to note, four metres shy of the Eiffel Tower). The buildings are expected to be complete in 2016, meaning an all-too brief reign for the Shard as king of Europe.
Things may have been different had the Millennium Tower, a 386m-skyscraper also designed by Foster for the site of the old Baltic Exchange, gone ahead. Instead, it was scrapped and the Gherkin built in its stead.
Still, London may yet strike back and build even higher, particularly if the advice of Richard Rogers is heeded. At the MIPIM property industry conference in Cannes this week, he encouraged architects and developers to build as high as possible, arguing: “If the Shard had 10 storeys more, who would it disturb?”
Hat tip: @SE1
Photo by richwat2011