Thursday 5 July 2012

Does London really need the Shard?

In the last few years, Londoners would have found it difficult not to have noticed the rise of the Shard skycraper over in London Bridge.

The building designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano was offically opened today and is the biggest building in Europe.

I can see it from where I live in Stratford East London, and from outside my work in Kennington South London. It's completely altered the London Skyline.

Whenever I see it, I'm always impressed by the design and sheer scale of the Shard. It's a breathtaking building - but I still wonder whether it's something London really needs.

London is one of the world's great cities, it already has a number of historic and iconic buildings that are known all over the world. I don't think we need a giant glass pyramid dominating the skyline to somehow put London on the map.

That sort of thing should be left to places like Dubai or cities in the Far East, paricularly new ones in China that need some sort of statement building to let the rest of the world know they've arrived.

London doesn't need to announce itself to the world and it doesn't need to prove anything.

What do you think of the Shard? Does it add anything to London?

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