The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and Previously London Bridge Tower, is a 95-storey skyscraper, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, in Southwark, London, that forms a Part of the Shard Quarter development.
Standing 309.6 metres (1,016 feet) high, the Shard is the tallest building in the United Kingdom, and the sixth-tallest construction in Europe. It is also the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, after the concrete tower of the Emley Moor transmitting station. It replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-storey office block constructed on the website in 1975.
The Shard's construction began in March 2009; it was topped out on 30 March 2012 and inaugurated on 5 July 2012.
Practical completion was achieved in November 2012. The tower's privately operated observation deck, The View from The Shard, was opened to the general public on 1 February 2013. The glass-clad pyramidal tower includes 72 habitable floors, with a viewing gallery and open observation deck on the 72nd floor, at a height of 244 metres (801 ft). The Shard was developed by Sellar Property Group on behalf of LBQ Ltd and is collectively owned by Sellar Property (5%) and the State of Qatar (95%). The Shard is managed by Real Estate Management (UK) Limited on behalf of the owners.