Shard of Glass Breaking Ground Soon

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markadams99 Thursday 2 October 2008 8.21am
Davies wrote:
You know there is so much hard sell on here about how wonderful and iconic this monolithic moneymaker is, in spite of the fact that no one I know off this thread is keen on in, that you do start to wonder if people here aren't paid by Sellar or their advertising arm to spend their time online trying to big the thing up and make like the locals love it.
I love the Shard. It's shadow will fall on my flat. Hooray! I'm not a shill for Sellar, but would like to be. Newcastle Guy and boroughpaul, who do I contact? I have a soft spot for Renzo Piano having lived in Houston and frequented The Menil Collection for the sake of the building rather than the art. Houston Downtown is a fabulous bunch of Skyscrapers, far better than the sub-Chicagoesque Canary Wharf. I especially like the Enron Center.
Laphroaig Thursday 2 October 2008 8.36am
Tastes definitely differ, but the problem is that a building like this will affect everyone, not just the people who like and want it.

Newcastle Guy, yes, I've been to New York many times, and to Chicago several times. I've also lived in San Francisco for the past 20+ years, before moving here in May. I saw the latter city change from a beautiful, human-scaled place to a mass of completely out-of-scale skyscrapers that block out the sun and cause wind tunnels for the pedestrians. The great views promised by each building are immediately blocked out by the next. One of the things I love about London is that it is still human-scaled and you can see the sky, and I would really, really hate to see that change.

(I've said something very similar in another thread on this board but I'm not sure where--sorry for repeating myself.)

I agree with you about the ugly post-war buildings (I can see Guy's--and the Shard--from my window), but surely it would be better to tear down some of those and rebuild something better and slightly taller, as was done with my own new block of flats, which replaced a 1960s building.

I'm not against tall buildings, at all--I love the Gherkin (which I can also see), and I think the Dubai architecture is really stunning and would love to see it someday. And I take your point about wanting to keep the Shard on its own, but you do seem in favor of more skyscrapers in clusters. However, I find the Shard a gimmicky and out-of-place building, much like the ugly Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. I think the reason the Eiffel Tower works so well is that it's just an iron structure; you can see through it. If it were clad in reflective glass I'm not sure it would be so popular.

I also don't think London needs skyscrapers to make it a world-class city. The lack of skyscrapers certainly hasn't stopped people from wanting to come here--isn't it the most crowded city in Europe? I have never heard anyone say "Well, London's all right, but if only it had a giant skyscraper! Then I'd consider it a world-class city."

However, I am just a guest with a visa, so it's not up to me. But I'd caution you to be careful what you wish for.
ADT Thursday 2 October 2008 10.10am
Davies wrote:
You know there is so much hard sell on here about how wonderful and iconic this monolithic moneymaker is, in spite of the fact that no one I know off this thread is keen on in, that you do start to wonder if people here aren't paid by Sellar or their advertising arm to spend their time online trying to big the thing up and make like the locals love it.
Maybe I'm just a cynic.

I am very keen on the shard, as is my wife and the neighbours that I have happened to talk to about it. We aren't quite in the shadow, but we are bricklayers arms area, so I think we are local enough.
Gordon OKR Thursday 2 October 2008 10.31am
Remember when the Gherkin was still a proposal and they were toying with potential pet names one of which was a specific type of cigar it resembled? When it was still on the drawing board the Gherkin was just as controversial as the Shard is now but lots of people who are resistant to change and were opposed before it went up absolutely love it now. My guess is the Shard will be the same and will become another London icon up there with the Gherkin, loved by many who dont think they like it at the moment but will change thier minds.

At last years open house I went to see that Carmarthen Place wooden townhouse and pointed out to the owner that she could see the Pricewaterhouse Coopers building from her terrace and asked if she knew it was coming down to make way for the Shard? First she had heard of it so she asked "Is it a pretty one?" The only answer was "Yes"
The Mapmaker Thursday 2 October 2008 10.58am
A single sky scraper is all very well. The Canary Wharf tower looked spectacular. Now it sits amongst its friends and the effect is lost. Building one sets a precedent and SE1 will become another New York. Ugh.
wjfox2004 Thursday 2 October 2008 11.12am
New York has 213 skyscrapers over 500 ft tall -

http://skyscraperpage.com/diagrams/?searchID=39735569

It will be centuries (if ever) before Southwark is anything like New York! And there are so many protected sightlines, heritage areas, NIMBYs, etc. I really don't think you have anything to worry about.
Laphroaig Thursday 2 October 2008 11.15am
wjfox2004 wrote:
It will be centuries (if ever) before Southwark is anything like New York!

Since the 213 skyscrapers went up in less than a century (and most in the last 30 or so years), and the UK is predicted to have a population explosion, I'm curious why you think that?

(Edited to correct a typo.)
wjfox2004 Thursday 2 October 2008 11.16am
Gordon OKR wrote:
Remember when the Gherkin was still a proposal and they were toying with potential pet names one of which was a specific type of cigar it resembled? When it was still on the drawing board the Gherkin was just as controversial as the Shard is now but lots of people who are resistant to change and were opposed before it went up absolutely love it now. My guess is the Shard will be the same and will become another London icon up there with the Gherkin, loved by many who dont think they like it at the moment but will change thier minds.


Completely agree. Added to which, it will be completed just in time for the Olympics, when the eyes of the world are going to be focussed on London. Everyone will see this spectacular new landmark in the heart of London. The Shard is something we should be proud of - not afraid of.
martinr Thursday 2 October 2008 11.20am
The Mapmaker wrote:
A single sky scraper is all very well. The Canary Wharf tower looked spectacular. Now it sits amongst its friends and the effect is lost. Building one sets a precedent and SE1 will become another New York. Ugh.

The intention was always that Canary Wharf would have a load of skyscrapers. It took slightly longer than was expected because of the early 90's property bust but the intention was always there to have more towers. It was never designed to stand completely alone.

I love the Shard and think it will become an iconic structure for London. And to think it's in our backyard !
Gordon OKR Thursday 2 October 2008 11.28am
It was love at first sight for me. Isnt it odd but interesting watching the PWC building coming down and will surely be amazing to watch the Shard grow up in its place.
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