Shard London bridge, a glass fragment in the European skyline

Renzo Piano has almost completed the highest tower in Europe, awaiting London 2012

by Malcolm Clark
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The Shard London Bridge, designed by Renzo Piano, is quickly approaching completion, just in time for London 2012 providing a privileged view over the games.

The new tower, initially called London Bridge Tower, will have 87 stories (72 habitable ones) and will stand at 306 metres (1,004ft) (310 or 1,017 ft. with the antenna), becoming the tallest building in the European Union, exceeding the current tallest one, the Commerzbank Turm in Frankfurt.

Work is progressing quickly in the Borough of Southwark, in south London, in the new area that is being redesigned around London Bridge Station, destined to become an even more important international hub during the Olympics.

The Shard, a term coined by its architect Renzo Piano, will be like a glass fragment piercing the London skyline. Its shape is nothing like that of the more rounded and awkward Gherkin, Sir Norman Foster's 30 St Mary Axe.

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    The Shard / London Bridge Tower 299

    The Shard / London Bridge Tower

    London / United Kingdom / 2012

    30 St Mary Axe 38

    30 St Mary Axe

    London / United Kingdom / 2004