Topping Off the Shard
September 26, 2011
Photo: The Guardian
When the Shard is completed in May of next year, it will be Europe’s tallest tower and will, perhaps, represent its most radical urban intervention in some time. In a continent of preserved old city centers where architectural exuberance and caprice are generally suffocated (or institutionalized, thus, sterilized), the Shard’s thrusting form disrupts the London cityscape, dwarfing the treasured wedding cake dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, while also negating the fragile formalism of the Gherkin through its sheer primitiveness.
As it currently stands, however, the Shard stands incomplete and, along with the 2012 Olympic Campus, remains one of the city’s largest construction sites. Britain’s largest crane will be installed to crown Renzo Piano’s 95-story pyramidal tower. In an article published by The Daily Mail, the crane, when fully erect, will rise 1,040 ft into the sky, hovering nearly 25 feet above the apex of the tower’s under-construction spire. The crane, whose base sits on the 55th floor, will hoist some 500 tons of steel upwards to complete the structure’s remaining 23 floors. Photos after the jump!
Photo: flickr user the_defiance
Photo: flickr user CB_LDN