Piano's Shard central core is topped out
The central core of Britain’s tallest building, Renzo Piano’s Shard, was topped out yesterday
Eleven years after it was first conceived, the team behind the Shard of Glass today celebrated the London building become the UK’s tallest.
Speaking at a press conference on the 24th floor of the emerging skyscraper, founder and chairman of Sellar Properties, Irvine Sellar, added that the Shard’s 72-storey central core had been topped out yesterday.
Sellar said the skyscraper would be a truly mixed-use building complete with 55,000sq m of office space, luxury flats, restaurants and bars, the five star Shangri-La hotel and a public viewing gallery.
“Some said it wouldn’t happen,” he said. “and there is still a huge amount of work before we complete in two years time.”
Sellar praised the Qatari government for bankrolling the project after the credit crunch hit, and said that London mayor Boris Johnson’s Transport for London had decided against taking space in the building after deciding it would be “too high profile”.
Chairman and CEO of principal contractor Mace, Stephen Pycroft, called the Shard the most exciting building being built anywhere in the world.
“Work on site only started in March 2009 so progress to date has been absolutely tremendous,” he said. “At one point, the core was going up by 3m a day and yesterday we topped out level 72 of the core.”
The Shard, which along with the neighbouring London Bridge Place and a piazza will cover around 140,000sq m gross of mixed-use space, is due to complete in summer 2012.
When completed it will be the tallest commercial building in Europe at 310m or 1,016ft. It is currently 244m high, overtaking Canary Wharf Tower which is 235m.