Love it or loathe it, the Shard in London Bridge has become a distinguishing feature of London’s skyline and will come to represent the city from all over the world. To mark its external completion, an inauguration ceremony took place yesterday evening, during which 12 lasers and 30 searchlights lit up London’s sky – celebrating the Shard’s status as western Europe’s tallest tower.
Standing among the crowds to watch the inauguration, I thought how the Shard will transform its surroundings. High-quality markets, shops and restaurants and the presence of City Hall have drawn an increasing number of businesses and visitors to Southwark, Bermondsey and London Bridge over the last decade. But the 1,016ft tower, which is set to house office spaces, exclusive residences, a luxury hotel, restaurants and a viewing gallery, could make the area a key business and tourist destination south of the river.
Until it opens fully in February 2013, anyone working in the area can appreciate the Shard’s cutting-edge architecture from nearby London serviced apartments. Shand Apartments and Magdalen Apartments are just minutes away.