In Progress: The Shard / Renzo Piano

Flickr user © Nicnac1000

Renzo Piano’s Shard is quickly climbing up London’s skyline.  The 1,016 ft high skyscraper will provide the mixed use density the city needs, as it incorporates apartments, office space, a spa, hotel and restaurants within its sleek pyramidal form.  Inspired by perhaps a ship’s mast from the Pool of London, or a modern take on the church spire, will become a prominent fixture in the skyline as it nears it completion.  Check out these images  illustrating ’s progress – the crisp aesthetic commonly found in Piano’s projects is becoming evident as the low-iron glazing is applied to the structure.

More images after the break.

Flickr user © Nicnac1000
Flickr user © Nicnac1000
Flickr user © Nicnac1000
Flickr user © Allhails
Flickr user © Allhails

Be sure to view our coverage of the tower here.  Images from Flickr users: Nicnac1000, Allhails,and  Cybertect

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "In Progress: The Shard / Renzo Piano" 13 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • RP

    Everything Piano does is amazing

    • Pierced Brosnan

      Have you seen St Giles Circus???

  • Henry

    I have been a skeptic of this Piano building since it was first proposed and at the time thought that its one potential saving grace could be the masterful detailing synonymous with Piano projects. That is why I am pleased to see the same lightness, transparency and rigor in the built curtain wall that was so exaggerated in the proposal.

    There have been numerous criticisms of the Shard for its form, its height, its lack of context, its materiality… but there is much more to a skyscraper than its vertical component. To be a successful urban design the base of skyscrapers must be wholly integrated into the existing urban fabric with a level of detail and scale found in its surroundings. Commenting from the available renderings and personal experience with other Piano works this could very well become the endearing strong point for the design. Yet, until this aspect of the Shard is completed I will reserve final judgment and I hope London does the same.

  • Jorgen

    This looks really good!!

  • robert

    IMO this building has nothing to do with london…

  • alex

    The quality of the cladding is excellent, but the real icing on the cake will be the crown of the building.

    I guess I speak for most Londoners when I say I’m very much look forward to going up to the observation floors once the shard’s complete. It’ll be the best vantage point in the city.

  • Cara

    I have to agree with Henry that the key to the success of this building is its integration into the urban context at the ground level. From some of the earlier renderings it appears that there is a 2 level entrance lobby that invites in visitors. The part that appears to be most successful about this entrance is the light shading that comes out over both levels. Rather than having the person on the sidewalk or street stare straight up, it almost protects them from the harsh height and angle of the building, and directs them to come inside. Of course if the viewer wanted to appreciate the height of the building, the shading appears to be fairly translucent.

    • Allan

      …and of course it wards off all the slipping rain water which would hit the pedestrians! (would be funny without it :) )

  • ltd

    From this section:
    it seems Piano has always put an emphasis on the urban condition and how the building meets the ground, the street and public. Whether that is successful, only time will time. But what is also interesting is the tower mimics those spaces further up the tower, breaking down the tower’s vertical dimension.

  • pablo fernandez villaverde

    Even if I think that the mixed use of the tower will be a nice activity node, I think this project is not enough related to its enviroment

  • Matt C

    This will be a beautiful masterpiece once completed. I can’t wait to see the final result. I feel this building will be different from other tall skyscrapers in that it will have a more delicate aura due to the precision Piano is known for — but the shards on top will balance that delicacy with its pointed accuracy.