Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the pyramid-shaped Shard has an exterior comprising 11,000 glass panels, while inside you’ll find shops, restaurants, luxury apartments, offices and a hotel.
However, it’s the viewing deck, which opened over the weekend, that’s currently getting the most attention.
Offering views (when the cloud isn’t hanging low) of some 40 miles in every direction, the Shard’s owners hope the deck will be the first stop for many visitors to the UK capital, giving them a chance to get their bearings and spot famous landmarks from the top of London’s newest skyscraper.
State-of-the-art elevators whisk you to the enclosed 69th-floor viewing platform at a stomach-wobbling six meters a second. And if you like swirling winds with your panoramic views, take the stairs to the 72nd floor where an exposed viewing deck awaits.
The Shard has installed high-tech so-called tell:scopes enabling visitors to explore the city up close using a touchscreen display. The tell:scopes also show information about the multitude of landmarks spread across the city, and can display a night-time view if you’re there in the day, or the opposite for day-time visitors.
If you’re interested in checking out the view from the top of the Shard but a) you currently have no plans on visiting London or b) you find the £24.95 ($39) tickets to be as steep as the Shard’s exterior and therefore not worth paying, then hop over to here to enjoy it courtesy of the Guardian.
The impressive interactive view includes – rather like the tell:scopes – day and dusk views, changing audio linked to the viewed locations, landmark information, and comments from artists, musicians and writers about their favorite parts of the city.