False Facts About The Shard That You Thought Were True and Other Intriguing Facts!
The Shard, an architectural marvel dominating London's skyline, is more than just a towering structure. It's a symbol of modern design and innovation. Discover lesser-known facts about The Shard, sprinkle in some true and false statements and address frequently asked questions about this iconic building.
1. Architectural Wonder
Renzo Piano, an Italian architect, designed The Shard. He was inspired by the railway lines near the site, the London spires depicted by the 18th-century Venetian painter Canaletto, and the masts of sailing ships.
2. Record-Breaking Heights
Upon its completion in 2012, The Shard claimed the title of the tallest building in the European Union, standing at 309.6 metres (1,016 feet). It has since been surpassed but remains the tallest in the UK.
3. Green Building
The Shard is environmentally conscious. It's constructed with 11,000 glass panels, which provide natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting. Its energy efficiency is further enhanced by a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, operating on natural gas.
4. Diverse Usage
The building hosts a mix of offices, Shard restaurants, a hotel, apartments, and viewing galleries. This multifunctional use makes it a vertical city.
5. Exclusive Living
The Shard's residential apartments are among the highest in the UK, located between the 53rd and 65th floors. They offer stunning views of the city but come with a hefty price tag.
6. Inspired by Church Steeples
Renzo Piano was inspired not just by Canaletto's paintings but also by London's church steeples. The Shard's spire-like shape pays homage to these historical structures, blending the old with the new.
7. A Symbol of Openness
Piano designed The Shard as a symbol of transparency and openness, contrasting with the traditional closed-off buildings in the city. Its glass façade reflects the sky and surroundings, integrating the building into the fabric of London.
8. Public Space Commitment
As part of the development, The Shard's developers provided a significant amount of public space around the base, including a new bus station and improvements to the rail station.
9. The Shangri-La Hotel
The Shard houses the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel, occupying floors 34 to 52. This hotel is known for its exquisite rooms, exceptional service, and, of course, the panoramic views of London.
10. Innovative Construction Techniques
The construction of The Shard was a feat of engineering. It used top-down construction techniques, where the core was built first, allowing the floors to be added in a modular fashion.
11. Safety and Security
The Shard is designed with safety in mind. Its glass façade is bomb-resistant, and the building is equipped with state-of-the-art security systems.
12. The Telescopic Design
One of the unique architectural elements is its telescopic design, where the building narrows as it rises, forming eight angled glass facades that variously reflect the sky and the city.
13. Influence on London's Skyline
The Shard's construction marked a significant shift in London's skyline, paving the way for more high-rise buildings in the city and changing London's architectural character.
14. A Hub of Business and Culture
With its mix of offices, restaurants, and cultural venues, The Shard has become a hub for international businesses and a cultural landmark, hosting events, exhibitions, and performances.
15. The View from The Shard
'The View from The Shard' experience offers visitors the highest vantage point from any building in Western Europe, providing unparalleled 360-degree views for up to 40 miles on a clear day.
The Shard is more than just an architectural marvel; it's a testament to human ingenuity and a symbol of London's ever-evolving landscape. Whether viewed from afar or explored up close, it continues to captivate and inspire, making it a must-see destination for both locals and tourists alike.
True or False: The Shard Edition
1. True or False: _"The Shard has its own zip code."_ False. While it's a massive building, it doesn't have a unique postal code.
2. True or False: _"There is a hidden bar in The Shard that only the residents know about."_ False. There's no secret bar exclusive to residents.
3. True or False: _"The top of The Shard is open to the elements."_ True. The top floors are open and exposed to natural weather conditions.
4. True or False: _"There's a direct underground tunnel from The Shard to the London Bridge Station."_ False. There is no such tunnel, but the building is conveniently located near major transport links.
5. True or False: _"The glass panels of The Shard can change colour according to the weather."_ False. While the glass reflects the sky and surroundings, the panels themselves do not change colour.
6. True or False: _"There is a single apartment in The Shard that occupies an entire floor."_ False. While The Shard houses exclusive apartments, none occupies an entire floor.
7. True or False: _"The Shard was initially planned to be taller."_ True. The original design was taller, but it was scaled down due to concerns over its visual impact on the skyline.
8. True or False: _"The Shard has its own dedicated express lift for the Shangri-La Hotel."_ True. The Shangri-La Hotel has a dedicated lift for guests to access its facilities directly.
9. True or False: _"The building’s construction set a record for the deepest foundation in London."_ False. While The Shard's foundation is deep, it did not set a record.
10. True or False: _"The Shard has a helipad on its roof."_ False. There is no helipad on The Shard, partly due to its spire-like design.
11. True or False: _"The Shard's observatory was the highest public viewing area in London when it opened."_ True. When it opened, the observatory offered the highest public viewing point in London.
12. True or False: _"There is a secret underground shopping mall beneath The Shard."_ False. There is no secret shopping mall; however, the building connects to retail spaces at London Bridge Station.
13. True or False: _"The glass facade of The Shard is cleaned by robots."_ False. The cleaning is done by human-operated cradles, not robots.
14. True or False: _"The top of The Shard is covered in 24-carat gold leaf."_ False. There is no gold leaf; the top is made of glass and steel.
15. True or False: _"On a clear day, you can see as far as France from the top of The Shard."_ False. While the view from The Shard is extensive, reaching up to 40 miles on a clear day, it does not extend as far as France. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of London and its surrounding counties, but seeing another country is beyond its visible range.
The Shard, a beacon of modern architecture, is surrounded by a mixture of facts and myths. These true or false statements help to separate fact from fiction, further highlighting the unique aspects of this iconic London landmark.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is there a dress code for The Shard's restaurants and bars?
Yes, most of the upscale restaurants and bars in The Shard have a smart casual dress code. It's advisable to check specific venues for their dress code policies.
What experiences are available at The Shard?
Visitors can enjoy the breath taking views from the open-air Skydeck on the 72nd floor, dine in high-end restaurants, or stay at the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel. The Shard experience is something to be marvelled at!
Does The Shard have the highest swimming pool in London?
Yes, the Shangri-La Hotel within The Shard boasts the highest swimming pool in London, located on the 52nd floor.
Can I access the top of The Shard?
The viewing galleries on the 69th and 72nd floors are open to the public. Tickets can be purchased for these observation decks.
Is photography allowed inside The Shard?
Yes, photography is allowed, and it's a popular spot for capturing stunning views of London. However, tripods and professional equipment may require prior permission.
Can I book a private event at The Shard?
Yes, The Shard offers venues for private events, including corporate functions, weddings, and parties. The venues provide spectacular views of London, creating a memorable backdrop for any event.
Is The Shard accessible for people with disabilities?
Yes, The Shard is fully accessible to people with disabilities. There are accessible viewing areas, lifts, and restrooms. It's advisable to inform the venue in advance if you require any specific accommodations.
Are there any age restrictions for visiting The Shard's observation deck?
No, there are no age restrictions for visiting the observation deck. However, children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Can I bring my own food and drink to The Shard?
Visitors are not allowed to bring their own food and drinks to the observation decks or restaurants in The Shard. However, the restaurants and bars inside offer a range of Shard dinner options.
How long can visitors stay at The Shard's observation deck?
There is no strict time limit for staying on the observation deck. However, the average visit lasts around one to two hours.
Does The Shard offer any educational programmes or tours?
Yes, The Shard occasionally offers educational programmes and guided tours which provide insights into the building's architecture, history, and its role in London's urban landscape.
Is photography permitted in all areas of The Shard?
Photography is permitted in most public areas of The Shard, including the observation decks. However, some areas, especially those within businesses or private residences, may restrict photography.
How often is the exterior of The Shard cleaned?
The cleaning schedule for The Shard's exterior varies, but it typically undergoes a thorough cleaning process several times a year using specialised equipment.
Are pets allowed in The Shard?
Generally, pets are not allowed in The Shard, with the exception of service animals.
Is there a time of day that's best to visit The Shard?
The best time to visit The Shard depends on the experience you're seeking. For daytime views and photography, earlier in the day is ideal. For sunset views and a romantic experience, visiting in the evening is recommended.
Does The Shard have any sustainability initiatives?
Yes, The Shard incorporates various sustainability initiatives, including energy-efficient lighting, water-saving systems, and the use of recycled materials in its construction and operations.
The Shard, standing as a testament to contemporary architecture and urban design, continues to fascinate and intrigue. Its blend of sustainability, luxury, and accessibility makes it a unique landmark in London's cityscape. Whether you're admiring it from afar or exploring its many offerings, The Shard never fails to impress.