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Shard London Bridge skyscraper
Shard London Bridge, previously known as London Bridge Tower, and also known as the Shard of Glass,32 London Bridge and The Shard, is a skyscraper under construction in Southwark, London. As part of the London Bridge Quarter Development, The Shard will replace Southwark Towers, an existing 24-storey office building finished in 1976. When completed in 2012, it will be the tallest building in the European Union and the 45th tallest building in the world. The tower will stand 1,017 ft (310 m) tall and have 72 floors, plus 15 further radiator floors in the roof. The building has been designed with an irregular triangular shape from the base to the top. It will be clad entirely in glass. The viewing gallery and open-air observation deck will be on the top (72nd) floor. The Shard will be London's first truly "mixed use" tower, the floors will be divided into a mixture of residential, office, hotel, retail and public space.
Renzo Piano, the project's architect, has compared his design to "a shard of glass" – he considers the slender, spire-like form of the tower a positive addition to the London skyline and believes that its presence will be far more delicate than opponents of the scheme allege. He proposes a sophisticated use of glazing, with expressive facades of angled panes intended to reflect light and the changing patterns of the sky, so that the form of the building will change according to the weather and seasons.