Having spent many months inexorably rising above the London skyline, the Shard today overtook One Canada Square and is now the tallest building in the capital.
The Renzo Piano designed scheme will be the first supertall tower built in Western Europe when it is complete in 2012 with a height to the tip of the pinnacle of 310 metres and 87 floors including the plant levels.
The construction is being carried out by contractor MACE who have been building it since March 2009 for developer LBQ Ltd which is a joint venture between QInvest, a Qatari investment vehicle, and the Sellar Property Group.
By British standards the core already looks impossibly tall, and whilst the concrete will stop before the final upper section of the tower, there is still another 70 plus metres of the structure to go. Although the 84 degree angle of the slanting faces of the Shard give a visual clue of how much is left to construct, to put this figure in perspective Westminster Abbey is only 69 metres tall.
The previous record holder, One Canada Square, commonly known as Canary Wharf Tower, is 235.1 metres or 771 feet and 2 inches tall. Upon completion it will be the tallest habitable building in the United Kingdom, although Emley Moor Transmitter outside Huddersfield remains taller.
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