It is almost done at last. Nearly a decade after the designs first surfaced the Shard approaches completion externally with the upper pieces of glazing and steel work put in place only today.
Put in place by three workers known casually on site as Daz, G-man, and Mr B, amongst the work required at the very end literally involved sitting on structural steel with a hand drill to manually fit bolts in place, a surprisingly low tech end to a building that only a matter of weeks before had a high-tech mini crane sat on the top of it like a transformer.
As a result the final heights of the building will be 308.5 metres to the tip of the steelwork, and 309.6768 metres to the tip of the tallest piece of glazing. This height will of course vary very slightly as the building height will change depending on the temperature.
If the building looks dull, this is because the glazing now has to be prepared for opening which involves removing any protective coverings it has and cleaning it. The difference between the final glazing, and what has been seen through construction is telling with the final product set to have a much higher contrast finish.
The intention is that by the summer and the world's eye is firmly set on the city, the Shard will be finished externally and make a stunning background for the 2012 Olympics, an event that should be able to sell the building like no other.
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