The Shard facts – the iconic London skyscraper – part two

After writing our first piece about the shard (the skyscraper in London, UK) we got a ton of more shard facts by readers and thought it would be good to share them with you. If you are interested in reading our first blog post about the shard, jump in the post about Shard facts right here: 9 facts you didn’t know about the shard.

Lets be completely clear (as the politicians say this days), the shard is one of a superlative for London and also for Europe. In other Parts of the world tall skyscraper conquered the city scape centuries ago. Think about the old Skyscraper like the Empire State building or even the Chrysler building, both in New York. What we are trying to say that the story of Skyscraper is a newer story here in Europe than elsewhere. But back to our main story: the shard facts.

With over 11,000 glass panels on its facade and 44 lifts in service. Taking visitors up to the public gallery at 309.6 meters above London (the observation deck is also called “the View from the Shard”, the shard is one of its kind.

The Architect and the developer of the shard

The architect Renzo Piano designed the building to look like a sail. After Renzo Piano was approached by the developer Sellar Property Group the designer told Sellar that he is not really into skyscraper. Luckily he gave it a go. For Sellar Property Group itself it was the biggest project in their company history. The architect got his inspiration from the themes with all his sailing boats in the old times. Built as a vertical city in need to maximise the space to address the growing city London is was becoming a superlative itself. Here are some more facts around the Shard:

More Shard facts

  • Back in March 2012 the last piece was topped on the buildings structure to reaching its total height. Speaking of: In total the height is 309.6 meters high. Measured in feet: 1,016 ft
  • With a glass facade containing 11,000 panels of special manufactured pieces the glass facade is an area of 56,000 sq meter (602,779 sq ft). This facade area equals eight football pitches.
  • How to get up to the top? To the observation deck of the shard? To get the visitors and also the worker up and down the skyscraper there are 44 lifts. There are also proper double-decker lifts. For everyone who would like to get up and down a bit more sporty there are 306 flights of stairs.
  • The floor space of the shard measures about 11 hectares (27 acres). The floor space is spanning from the ground floor up to 72 habitable floors. In addition to that: A further 15 levels will make up the “spire”. Six have the potential to be used, while another nine are exposed to the elements. The material used in the shard, the construction materials is mostly recycled with up to 95 % and also 20% of the steelworks is from recycled sources.
  • As described earlier the design was influenced by the irregular nature of the site. Each site of the shard rising towards the top and the corners of each site are open to the top allowing the building to “breathe”. Piano’s Shard consists of several glass facets that incline inwards but do not meet at the top.

even more shard facts

  • More than a dozen times between 2009 and 2012 Base jumper reportedly jumped from The Shard. Four of this jumps were reportedly made by the Essex roofer Dan Witchalls. The latest reported Base jump was reported on March 2016.
  • On the 3rd of September 2012 the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, abseiled with a team of 40 people from the 87th floor. It was performed to raise money for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund and also the Outward Bound Trust. The French urban climber Alain Robert was spotted in November 2012 by security guards. The owner of the Shard won an injunction to prevent him from entering the building again.

The Shard facts – from ground to the top

The Plaza, 360 sq meter, in front of the Shard is an public area with seating and plants. Also on the Ground floor is a tunnel bridging the shard to the London Bridge Station and offers retail space.

Going up to the fourth floor offices are reaching to the 28th floor across 55,000 sq meters. Following from the 31st to the 33rd floor on a space of 2,700 sq meter: top international restaurants centered on a triple-height atrium.

The Shard Hotel

Between the 34th to the 52 nd floor the Shangri-La shard Hotel and Spa call the Shard home. The Shangri-La Hotel and Spa offers across 200 luxury rooms and 18,000 sq meters high end luxury. After the Shard hotel, the Shangri-La Hotel and Spa, on the 53rd to 65th floor wealthy residents will have the opportunity to stay in one of 10 exclusive residences. The residences offer 60-degree views across London over a total of 5,800 sq meters. The 68th to the 72 nd floor house the public observation galleries, the “View from the Shard”. Speaking of which: The two stories wide observation deck called “View from the Shard” is 1,400 sq meters big.

With 309.6 meters height, the shard is the tallest building in western Europe. At the moment it is ranking as the 59th tallest building in the world and around 2.7 times shorter than the tallest, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is 828 meters high.

We hope you enjoyed our new and extended Shard facts skyscraper blog post.

The Shard facts - the iconic London skyscraper - part two
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The Shard facts - the iconic London skyscraper - part two
More Shard factsBack in March 2012 the last piece was topped on the buildings structure to reaching its total height. Speaking of: