Friday, 27 April 2012

The Shard changes London's skyline

It's been a year and half since I was last in Central London, and apart from the Boris bike revolution, the appearance of Europe's highest skyscraper has done more to change the way the city looks. The Shard, built over London Bridge Station, is nearing completion. It is visible from all corners of London, standing 310m (1,020ft) high. (For a Warsaw comparison, the Palace of Culture is 231m high, while Zlota 44, also nearing completion, is 192m high.)

Above: towering over the London Eye though standing two and half kilometres to its east, the Shard is the most prominent building along the skyline seen from Hyde Park. To the left of the pic, Rotten Row, the horse track running through the park (in 1690 this became London's first artificially-lit thoroughfare).

Left: The Shard viewed from Platform 4 on London Bridge Station, its pyramid shape giving the illusion of extra height. Somehow, it is not as impressive from close up as it is from a distance.

Dwarfed by the Shard, to its left, we can see the world's tallest hospital, Guys, with its 34 floors and standing a mere 142m high.

The location is more central than one thinks - Canary Wharf and London's second-highest skyscraper are another 5km further east.
Right: the Shard, rising over Tooley Street, viewed from the passage leading towards Tower Bridge and city hall. Unlike Warsaw, where most of the skyscrapers are clustered around the Palace of Culture forming a single Central Business District, London's tall buildings are dotted around what is an extensive city. Drop Warsaw on top of London, and it almost gets lost. But then living in a smaller capital city has its rewards too - the countryside's nearer.

This time last year:
In praise of Warsaw's trams

This time two years ago:
Plans for the railway line to Radom
[two years on: what's changed?]

1 comment:

student SGH said...

Does anyone else find it similar to Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea's capital?