Shard Luck: Paris To Build Europe's Tallest Skyscraper

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 74 months ago
Shard Luck: Paris To Build Europe's Tallest Skyscraper

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

Last Updated 09 March 2012


Shard is prettier


"Hermitage Plaza" looks quite similar to Foster's 2003 submission for NYC's World Trade Center competition.  Perhaps the Parisians don't mind rehashed designs.


I blame our strict permission laws, its just too difficult to get things through in our capital, whereas Paris seems much more relaxed about this sort of thing. La Defense is much prettier than the Canary Wharf by any measure, and it has more soul.


La Defense has got to be the ugliest cluster of skyscrapers. The future plans for La Defense make it look worse, and the two towers that will now be constructed just seem out of place to me, not to mention the lack of creative designs, it all looks boring and blocky.