In 2013, 13 years after the opening of the London Eye, there's a new view in town. The Shard, under construction since 2009, will be the second tallest building in all of Europe when it opens in February, 2013. Standing 1,016 feet tall, the irregular pyramid-like structure, covered completely in glass, is set to change the London skyline forever while giving visitors to the city a new way to enjoy the view. The Shard from above — Photo courtesy of estatesgazette
The already iconic building got its name when the design of architect Renzo Piano was criticized as putting "a shard of glass through the heart of historic London." When all the critics take in the view from the 72nd floor viewing platform, they may just change their tune. The Shard from street level — Photo courtesy of Paul Wilkinson
Once it opens, the Shard will house the Shangri-La Hotel – talk about a room with a view – as well as restaurants, offices, private residences (the highest in London) and The View, a series of viewing platforms on the 68th, 69th and 72nd floors of the building. High speed elevators whisk guests up the building to the platforms where they'll have 360-degree views of the city below. On a clear day, you'll be able to see 40 miles in any direction.
Next time you're in London, make sure to set aside time to visit one of the city's most exciting new attractions.