London & South East

The Shard: London’s latest landmark

 The Shard

Located on the South Bank, London, The Shard is Europe’s tallest building and forms the centrepiece of London Bridge Quarter – a 2m sq ft urban regeneration scheme currently underway in London.

The Shard is being developed by Sellar Property, has been designed by international architect Renzo Piano and is situated adjacent to the transport hub of London Bridge Station.

The Shard stretches 310 metres (1,106 ft) in height and is best described as a vertical town due to the impressive array of shops and facilities housed within the structure. The 95-storey building comprises a mix of 600,000 sq ft of office space, three floors of restaurants, ten residences, a number of retail units and the five-star 200-bed Shangri-La Hotel and Spa.

The restaurants housed in The Shard will be situated on Levels 31 – 33, whilst the ten residences will be located on Levels 53 – 65. Floor spaces for the residences range from 1,372 sq m (14,770 sq ft) to 2,926 sq m (31,492 sq ft) and will provide tenants with maximum flexibility to meet their individual needs.

The Shard will also include a number of commercial office spaces, all designed to set a new standard in high-quality business provisions for London. Offices will be spread out over 25 floors of the building, will range in floor sizes starting from 14,500 sq ft (1,362) and will offer some of the best views in the city. As The Shard is also perfectly located within close proximity to many significant transport interchanges the building will become the perfect place for thriving businesses to grow.

 The Shard

The impressive building will also house The View – London’s highest public viewing gallery – which will provide guests with a 360˚ view of the city. The View will be located on Level’s 68 – 72 and will officially open to the public in February 2013.

The Shard has been designed to offer visitors and guests with a multitude of event, meeting and leisure spaces all housed within a stylish building that is naturally ventilated and will draw in a considerable amount of natural daylight.

Once construction is complete, The Shard will have incorporated 11,000 panels of glass, 44 lifts – comprising a mix of single and double lifts – and 306 flights of stairs. The building will also have a triple skin facade with automatic blinds, a 4 pipe fan coil air conditioning system, 150mm of raised floors and a 1.5m planning module.

95% of the construction materials used in creating The Shard is being sourced from recycled materials, whilst 20% of all steelwork is being obtained from recycled sources. The building will also boast reduced energy consumption by using 740m² of photovoltaic panels which will supplement power throughout the whole building.

 The Shard

Additional features include 155 bicycle spaces, 48 car parking spaces, showers and lockers and a 6.25m height ceiling to floor entrance hall.

All of the work being conducted on The Shard has been designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

“The Shard is more than just an amazing feat of engineering, it is a towering illustration of London’s determination to beat the recession and spur economic growth. This iconic, sparkling new addition to the capital’s skyline will act as a huge commercial magnet, pulling in scores of new businesses and offering vital employment opportunities for thousands of people.”

The Shard derives its name from architect Renzo Piano who described the development during the early planning stages as a large shard of glass. The sculptured design of The Shard comprises a number of inward inclining glass facets, which allow the building to ‘breathe’ as it stretches up to the sky.

Once The Shard is fully operational the mixed-use building will create approximately 12,000 jobs and will also be linked to The Place – a sister development connected to London Bridge Station – via a new central plaza, bus station and train station concourse.

 The Shard

Mace is the main contractor on the Shard, whilst Renzo Piano Building Workshop is providing all architectural services on the site. Turner & Townsend is the project manager, Davis Langdon is the quantity surveyor and WSP Cantor Seinuk is the structural engineer.

Ove Arup and Partners is the service engineer on The Shard and Knight Frank and Jones Lang LaSalle are the commercial agents.

The Shard is owned by LBQ Limited – comprising the State of Qatar and Sellar Property – with additional non-equity funding provided by Qatar National Bank. The State of Qatar is also a majority holder of the London Bridge Quarter and started investing in The Shard in 2009 so that it could become an integral development within its larger scheme.

The development forms part of the State of Qatar’s significant investment in a number of London landmarks.

Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property, said:

“While The Shard will offer high quality commercial and public spaces, and give the public the best views of London, first and foremost it will become a new symbol for the city and something Londoners can be proud of. The Shard is fast becoming one of the most recognisable London skyline silhouettes.

“The Shard is the highly visible face of London’s newest commercial quarter, London Bridge Quarter, and a key part of the continuing regeneration of the South Bank. It is the result of a shared vision between The State of Qatar, Sellar Property Group and Renzo Piano to create a new landmark building for London.”

 The Shard

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Shard Funding Limited and London Bridge Quarter, said:

“The Shard is the newest London landmark and a beacon of the city of London’s resilience and expansion, even during tough economic times. It is a symbol of Qatar’s belief and commitment to London both today and in the future. We have a long heritage and continued commitment to invest and build in the UK for the long term and The Shard highlights this close relationship.

“Standing at almost 310 metres, The Shard will be one of the tallest buildings in Western Europe. For me however, the height of The Shard is only secondary. What is special is the solid and continuing relationship between two nations – Qatar and Britain – which has been an important factor in completing this project.

“The Shard has already become an important symbol for London – a symbol of our close relationship – rooted in the foundations of economic growth, social development and mutual trust and goodwill.”

Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, QNB Group Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of The Shard Funding Limited, added:

“Qatar National Bank and The State of Qatar have backed London Bridge Quarter since 2009, after other banks withdrew from funding in the wake of credit crunch. This is because we strongly believed in its potential as a key regeneration project on London’s South Bank and wanted to see this landmark project realised. For us The Shard and all it represents, is a symbol for Qatari investment here in London.”

 The Shard

The Shard will officially open to the public in 2013.

For more information please visit

Celebrating The Shard’s inauguration

July 2012 became a key date within the development of The Shard as it marked the physical completion of the exterior of the building. To celebrate the event a spectacular show took place on 5th July.

The event represented the culmination of 12 years of hard work to build London’s newest landmark. The inauguration event saw Central London lit up by a stunning light and laser show which combined 30 search lights with 12 lasers. The event took place at 10:15pm (BST) and saw coloured lasers stretch out from the 95-storey building across to many London Landmarks, including Tower Bridge, the Gherkin, BT Tower, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.

In addition to the many Londoners who attended the event, HRH Prince Andrew the Duke of York, and Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabor Al Thani were also in attendance.

Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property and Partner of LBQ Limited, said:

“The Shard is an iconic addition to the capital’s skyline and will be one that all of London can access and enjoy. It will become as essential a part of a visit to London as going to the top of the Empire State building is for visitors on a trip to New York.

 The Shard

“The physical completion of The Shard is a major step towards the ultimate realisation of our vision for London Bridge Quarter – a new dynamic district for our city with The Shard at its centrepiece.

“The lightshow was available live on the web, but as we marked the building’s external completion on the London skyline we hoped Londoners would watch the show from vantage points across the capital and be a part of the wonderful celebration.”

The impressive light display was co-ordinated by two pieces of famous classical music; Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and the Finale from Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite which was performed live by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO). As the music reached its dramatic finale, the laser show culminated in the illumination of The Shard itself, lit from all sides by powerful searchlights rising high into the evening sky.

The event was also streamed live to The Shard’s official website and Facebook page, where Londoners and visitors alike were encouraged to upload images taken at the event.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Shard Funding Limited and London Bridge Quarter, said:

“The Shard is the newest London landmark and a beacon of the city of London’s resilience and expansion, even during tough economic times. The lightshow marked a key moment for The Shard and one that people in London – and around the world – could enjoy.”

Timothy Walker, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, added:

“The London Philharmonic Orchestra, central to London’s cultural life for 80 years, was delighted to welcome its new neighbour by being part of The Shard’s opening celebrations.”

 The Shard

The View from The Shard

As well as a very extensive selection of shops and restaurants, a key draw to The Shard for tourists will be The Shard – a premium visitor experience that will offer unparalleled views of London.

Located 244m (800ft) above the city The View from The Shard offers the highest vantage point of any building in Western Europe and provides visitors with view that will stretch 64km (40 miles) across the city.

Renzo Piano, of Renzo Piano Building Workshop has been personally involved in the developing The View, working in collaboration with Event Communications.

Upon arrival at The Shard, visitors will travel up to The View via two high-speed kaleidoscopic lifts which will drop them off at Level 68. From Level 68 visitors will make their way up one more floor to Level 69, where they can marvel at the breath taking sights that await them.

In addition to the stunning views on Level 69, visitors will also be able to make use of multimedia displays and high-tech digital telescopes that will be installed into The View. For those not put off by the magnificent height of Level 69, visitors can also opt to ascend to Level 72 – the highest public level of The Shard – to get an even closer look at the shards of glass that form the top of the building.

 The Shard

Although The View doesn’t open to the public until February 2013, tickets went on sale in July 2012 – following The Shard’s inauguration event – and over 17,500 people have already registered their interest in attending the attraction.

The View will open daily, from 9am to 10pm with the entrance located on Joiner Street.

For more information on The View please visit or call the box office hotline on +44 (0)844 499 7111.

Shangri-La Hotel and Spa

Located between Level’s 34 and 52 of The Shard, Shangri-La Hotel and Spa is a luxurious 200-bedroom hotel. The hotel marks the first Shangri-La site to open in the UK from leading hotel group Asia Pacific and boasts meeting spaces, fine dining, health and leisure facilities and a double-height lobby.

John Sisk & Son is delivering the fit-out works on the hotel, including all work on the 200-guest rooms and suites that are spread out across the 18 floors. Sweet Group is providing contract administration and support services on the hotel.

Paul Wilson, Managing Director of John Sisk & Son, said:

“Working together with Shangri-La to deliver their unique hospitality experience in London is a project we are very excited about. Shangri-La offers a distinctive and luxurious style of service, and The Shard will complement this experience with its breath-taking views.

 The Shard

“Working on The Shard, at such a height and with restricted access and storage space, requires exceptional project management and logistical organisation from our team to elevate the materials and fittings to the hotel and operate efficiency alongside other contractors working on the rest of the building. Hotel construction is one of our key areas of excellence and we are delighted to be working with Shangri-La on such a landmark project.”

Paul Nash, Operations Director and Global Head of Hospitality at Sweett Group, said:

“We were delighted to have been selected by the Shangri-La Hotels Group to support them with the delivery of their first hotel in London. We are proud to be part of the team Shangri-La has assembled from across the UK and China to ensure that their vision for this landmark building is realised.”

Dean Webster, Sweett Group Chief Executive Officer, added:

“Having already delivered a number of projects for Shangri-La in China this is a testament to the group’s global expertise and capability in servicing global clients from across our network of offices.”

The guest rooms at Shangri-La will be amongst the largest in London, with a number of suites incorporating glass-enclosed balconies dubbed winter gardens. Each room will cover an average area 42 m Sq and many rooms will include the Shangri-La Bed – a high-quality bed featuring patented body-contouring. Additional features in guest rooms include LCD TVs, hi-fi equipment and a comprehensive selection of business and communication features.

In addition to stunning guest rooms, Shangri-La also boasts a signature luxury spa, a fully equipped fitness facility and The Bar – a stunning drinks bar. Amongst the leisure facilities will be an indoor infinity swimming pool, a whirlpool, steam room and sauna. All of the leisure facilities are perfectly placed to offer guests panoramic views of the London skyline.

The bottom two floors of the hotel (Levels 34 & 35 of The Shard) will house the Hotel’s restaurant, along with a food theatre cafe, bars and function rooms capable of accommodating 300 people. Food and drinks outlets will offer a range of cuisines, combining a number of international dishes, whilst multiple cooking stations will showcase live cooking experiences.

To round off facilities at Shangri-La Hotel, a number of premium meeting spaces will also be available to provide convenient meeting venues in the heart of the city. The Hotel’s Business Centre will include boardrooms, a selection of PCs, secretarial support services and office equipment.

All office floors in the building will be serviced by two goods lifts, each capable of transporting a 3,500Kg capacity.

In keeping with all Shangri-La Hotel’s the site housed within The Shard will offer guests a warm and hospitable experience backed by a professional and caring team of staff. The core values of the hotel group – helpfulness, courtesy, sincerity and humility – will form the cornerstone of working practices at the Shangri-La Hotel when it opens in 2013.

Anthony Draper, Senior Project Manager at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, said:

“This project is not only about delivering a premier hotel – this is a landmark project for Shangri-La and our first hotel venture in the UK. This appointment is the result of an intensive procurement process, extensive research and competitive tendering to find a trusted partner who clearly demonstrated a proven capability of delivering the standards synonymous with the Shangri-La brand.

“As a result of their extensive five-star building experience, together with being able to deal with the logistical constraints that working in the Capital can bring, John Sisk & Son give us the assurances we are seeking. In addition their understanding of hotel pre-opening activities gives us confidence that their focus is on quality and service delivery.”


Based in London, Chadwell is a building contractor providing flexible and affordable solutions to the construction industry. Formed in 1984 the company specialises in a number of design and building solutions, from maintenance through to the installation of mechanical and electrical works.

Chadwell services a range of clients, from home renovations to large commercial projects and its clients include WH Smith, JD Sports, KFH, Gordons & Co and Norwood’s. The company also has a large staff of skilled and experienced professionals, who have helped Chadwell’s to grow into a trusted all round property contractor.

As a reliable ISO9001 contractor Chadwell adheres to a number of its own mission statements, including meeting and exceeding clients’ expectations, by completing all works on time and free of defects. Chadwell’s also works hard to ensure that its carbon footprint is kept to a minimum.

On The Shard, Chadwell was proud to be working within the retail fit-out, which was completed on time and within budget.

A1 Flue Systems

For almost 40 years, A1 Flue Systems has specialised in the manufacture of bespoke stainless steel flues and chimneys for the commercial sector. Over the years A1 Flue Systems has worked on a number of high-profile projects including the Gherkin, King’s Cross Station, St Pancras and HM Prison Belmarsh.

The Shard was a particularly important project for A1 Flue Systems and involved the manufacture of seven flues. The flues were installed inside a purpose built shaft that ran from the sub basement through 19 floors of the building. A1 Flue Systems began work on the project in mid-2010 and completed work in February 2012.

The Senior Managers at A1 Flue Systems, said:

“At A1 Flue Systems we are most proud of the fact that we are specialist flue manufacturers and not stockists. All of our work is tailor made and made to order.

“We are market leaders and our portfolio of work covers all aspects of the commercial sector, from water treatment works and prisons, to schools, universities and hospitals.”

 The Shard-Soldata


On the Shard, Soldata’s unique experience in structural and rail monitoring was called upon to provide a real time monitoring and reporting solution.

The monitoring system was designed to provide automatic data during the unloading caused from the demolition of the 25 storey Southwark Towers, construction of a three level deep basement and the subsequent surcharge associated from the construction of the Shard. All of this work occurred above one of the busiest rail terminals in London. With London Underground, Network Rail, Guy’s Hospital and numerous commercial properties being interested parties the system required robust engineering and monitoring.

The designed system pivoted around Soldata’s Cyclops technology (robotic total stations working in groups) monitoring absolute structural movements at ½ hourly intervals 24/7. This was supplemented with ground instrumentation and classical movement sensors providing corroborative data where required.

All of the data from the automated instruments was wirelessly collected, stored and processed within Soldata’s Geoscope software. Geoscope is GIS based, capable of combining information from a variety of sources, manual survey, geological logs, construction parameters, compensation grouting and TBM parameters (although not used in this case). Interested parties can view the data remotely via the web or carryout more in depth analysis on software enabled computers. Predetermined trigger breaches notify key personnel so that prompt mitigating action can be started, if required.


For over 25 years, HCE has specialised in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of commercial catering kitchens. During this time, the company has grown to become one of the UK’s leading suppliers of commercial kitchens and also provides an extensive after sales service.

HCE has worked on many high profile projects including Ascot Racecourse, The Savoy, Bvlgari Hotel, Hilton Heathrow Terminal 5, Eurostar and other diverse installations such as The Pier at Weston-Super-Mare and most recently a new fast-food outlet at Paultons Park, Romsey.

HCE Director, Steve Holley, said:

“This is the first Shangri-La Hotel to be based in the UK, so securing the catering and bar facilities project was particularly important to HCE, being such a high-profile job which will be carried out very much within the public eye. It goes without saying, of course, that this is a very prestigious, unique and uncompromisingly prominent landmark building in Central London so, naturally, we are particularly keen to ensure the project ranks up amongst our best work.”

Steve Holley added:

“A key element of our success is the unwavering commitment of our very own in-house Project Managers, who constantly strive to ensure a smooth, hassle-free installation, therein fulfilling our customers’ dreams and leaving them wanting to come back to us for more.

“Ultimately, our goal is to become the catering equipment company of choice throughout the UK for all Kitchen projects.”

Find out much more about HCE’s services on the firm’s extensive website:

Platt & Reilly

Platt & Reilly is a large partition & ceiling company specialising in high specification projects. Current projects include Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard, The International Broadcasting Centre at Olympic Park, Google Headquarters in Dublin and Phase One of World One in Mumbai, the tallest residential building in the world.

Platt & Reilly is a forward thinking, dynamic company ever striving to be the best. Many features of the company’s business model are unique to the Platt & Reilly and give the business a competitive edge. One simple example of this is the company’s investment in handheld tablet devices for its directors, contracts managers, quantity surveyors, safety officers and supervisors on site. Drawings are always at the fingertips of the entire team. Documents such as method statements can be signed and recorded electronically. Emails can be generated with combinations of pictures, extracts from drawings and notes in seconds. This allows queries to be addressed promptly and accurately. Handheld tablet devices, used in conjunction with handscanner hardware, allow supervisors to view online in real-time how many employees have scanned in through the hand scanning system, thus improving efficiency, timekeeping, improving response time to emergency situations etc.

Reducing the companies waste has become a key priority. Partition & ceiling installation by its nature produces the most waste of any internal trade, particularly on residential and hotel developments. Traditionally each component is bought oversized and cut to size on site however, with proper planning at the outset all materials can be manufactured to size. This has many benefits including but not limited to: the virtual elimination of waste both at point of production and on site by 8%, reduction of demand on site cranes/hoists etc, minimisation of labour demands, improvement of installation, reduction in carbon footprint, elimination of horizontal joints in plasterboard.

Platt & Reilly strives to be the best and constantly changes and improves. Every team member contributes to this ethic and makes it happen.

Platt & Reilly Director, Pat Reilly, said:

“The Shard is a fantastic building and we are proud to be involved. The building obviously brings its own unique challenges but we have a can do attitude and are enjoying the experience.

“We work well with Sisk and believe that both companies compliment each other. We have a strong and experienced team who ensure the fundamentals, along with new technologies, are embraced when completing projects.”

Rovac Contracts

Rovac Contracts is a finishing specialist renowned for its knowledge, expertise and quality in the processes, formulations and application of finishing for buildings and fabrications. Rovac Contracts operate a policy of combining the best solutions, the highest quality and the strongest value for their customers and services include specialist paintings and coatings, building façade repair and maintenance.

Rovac Contracts was formed in 2000 however the company’s management team has more than forty years-experience in the field of specialist paints and coatings, working with many of the major paint manufacturers and painting equipment suppliers. In addition, Rovac Contracts works with many leading main contractors and curtain wall contractors.

Rovac Contracts Managing Director, Robert Owens, said:

“We are proud to have worked for Mace & Scheldebouw on The Shard. We work throughout the UK and have been involved with many of the UK’s most prestigious projects including Ascot Racecourse, Wembley Stadium, Emirates Stadium, Olympic Park, Heron Tower, Canary Wharf and 1 Hyde Park.

“This project was important for us because The Shard is an iconic building. It was of great interest and presented a challenge to all those concerns. Now that construction is complete we can look at The Shard and be proud of our involvement with the project.”

Robert Owens added:

“Rovac prides itself in being able to provide a high quality service to its customers having the ability to consistently deliver in terms of quality, cost and time.”

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