Archive for shard

‘The Shard’ won Emporis Skyscraper Award 2013.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2014 by vincentloy

The Emporis Skyscraper Award for the year 2013, which is considered the world most renowned prize for skyscrapers, goes to London’s ‘The Shard’. The tallest building in western Europe, ‘The Shard’ was chosen by an international panel of experts from more than 300 skyscrapers of at least 100 metres in height and which were completed during the previous calendar year. The award, given by Emporis (, the international provider of building data. is now in its 14th year.

The 306m tall building designed by Renzo Piano, won over the jury, thanks to its unique glass fragment-shaped form and its sophisticated architectural implementation. Hmm…I had seen this building on my trip to Europe last year. I find that it is just a tall full-glass building that ends sharply at the top. Nothing special or worthy to be awarded the top honour for this skyscraper prize. That’s my personal opinion. Perhaps I didn’t know in detail of how the design is that great or maybe that last year’s competition isn’t strong, and so ‘The Shard’ stands out.


Second place went to DC Tower 1 at Vienna. The building at 250m high, is now Austria’s tallest building. The interesting feature of the building is one of its four sides that came with folded glass facade (creating ‘in’ and ‘out’ effect). In contrast with the other three typical flat sides of the building, the faceted facade creates a shifting pattern of light and shadow that animates the surface and lends it a rippling quality.


Coming in third place is Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort at Huzhou, China. It is a luxury hotel and resort by a lake with a height of 102m. It is not a very tall building, but is bold enough, thanks to its massive glowing light at night, striking reflection, and also particularly its torus/ ring-shaped form that leads to several nicknames given to the building like ‘Horseshoe Hotel’ or ‘Doughnut Hotel’.


For the full list of the top 10 winners of 2013’s Emporis Skyscraper Awards, go to this link: Hmmm…I don’t think Malaysia (my country) has any buildings that have won this prize before since its inception. If this prize is started out earlier (before 1997), then I’m sure Petronas Twin Towers will win.

(Information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)


Insight: Shard London Bridge Tower

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by vincentloy

This building would be completed just in time in conjunction with the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games to be held in July this year. According to the schedule, the building is now undergoing finishing work on the top portion beyond the roof level and has already topped out to its final height. The building is estimated to be completed by next month, and to be opened to the public on June, a month before all eyes are set on London for the 30th Olympic Games.

This building is associated with many nicknames; London Bridge Tower, Shard of Glass, 32 London Bridge, and The Shard. Well, I like the last one, it is cool calling the building simply ‘The Shard’. The reason why the building is called ‘London Bridge’ as well because it is situated right next to the London Bridge station. The building has 95 floors, of which 72 of them are habitable while the remaining 23 floors above are for narrow plant floors. The building overall reaches the height of 310 metres, making it the tallest building in Europe and the whole European Union (EU). Well, it is only as tall as my country’s Telekom Tower which is the third tallest in my country. The images below show how ‘The Shard’ would appears at different times of a day in renderings. (Images taken from

The architect behind the design is Renzo Piano, a famous Italian architect best known for designing Paris’ Pompidou Centre in collaboration with Britain’s Richard Rogers. Renzo Piano first started out by sketching an iceberg-like tall structure emerging from the River Thames, and he said his inspiration to that is from the railway lines next to the site, the London spires depicted by the Venetian painter Canaletto, and the masts of bygone sailing ships. So, that started out the development in his design which is going to be very futuristic and reflective when going on this design direction. Image below shows the rendering of the building’s concourse level. This would turns to reality very soon. (Image from

Renzo Piano compared his design to “a shard of glass”. He considered the slender, spire-like form of the tower a positive addition to the London skyline, believing that its presence would be far more delicate than opponents of the project alleged. He proposed a sophisticated use of glazing, with expressive façades of angled glass panes intended to reflect sunlight and the sky above, so that the appearance of the building will change according to the weather and seasons. So, the use of glazing turns out to be very essential for his design. The completed Shard will contain premium office space, a hotel, luxury residences, retail space, restaurants, a 15-storey public viewing gallery, a luxurious spa and an open-air observation deck at the highest floor. The observation deck would be the highest in United Kingdom.

It will be the most prominent landmark and would becomes a new icon to the city of London. Standing proud over the neighbouring buildings, ‘The Shard’ is not only a tall building but also an exceptional design masterpiece of the highest architectural quality. It is a lovely futuristic-looking building, and London seriously needs this kind of tall landmark not only to further enhance the city’s picturesque setting and skyline but also as a sign to welcome or greet people around the world to the city for the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games. And so, they built it! Amazing structure. The building blends in perfectly with the sky as well, as though the structure is transparent. Hmm…I like the ‘piercing’ top of the tower too, but it would be better if the topping ends much sharper and pointed towards the sky.

(The other images in this post not referenced right before or after are all from the forum thread of this building in…click on each of the images for larger version)