External completion of Western Europe's tallest building will be officially celebrated on 5 July, and with quite a light show. Make sure you can see the Shard at 10.15pm, when 12 lasers and 30 searchlights will illuminate the landmark. The spectacle will be streamed live via the Shard's website and Facebook page for those who aren't in town.
In what could be interpreted as either a show of supremacy or fraternalism, the 309-metre-tall building will send out coloured lasers to 15 of London's less lofty landmarks, including the Gherkin, London Eye and Tower Bridge. The effulgent extravaganza will be soundtracked by Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and the Finale from Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, performed live by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tickets to ascend the tower will go on sale the following day, although the viewing platform won't be ready until February 2013. More details on prices and booking soon.