The Shard, full name Shard London Bridge, also referred to as London Bridge Tower or the Shard of Glass.
Located at 32 London Bridge when completed in 2012 it will become the tallest building in the European Union and the 45th tallest building in the world.
The new structure will stand 1017 ft (310m) tall with 72 floors, with a further 15 radiator floors in the roof. The building will be striking and as an irregular triangular shape from the base continuingly to the top, with the whole building will be clad in glass.
A viewing gallery and an open-air observation desk will be on the 72nd floor.
Financial market turbulence in late 2007 resulted in one of the main backers being forced to sell its stake in the project.
Mace a contractor one the construction deal at a fixed price of £350 million, their price increased by almost £85m a year later in October 2008.
In January 2008 a consortium of Qatari investors had paid £150m to secure an 80% stake to the take control of the project and promise the first round of financing leading to construction could begin.
In April 2008 demolition of Southwark Towers began and was completed in early 2009.
The Mace construction contract was signed in late February 2009 with construction started the next month.
Following the World Trade Centre collapse designs of tall structures have been heavily reviewed and the Shard is among the first structure in the UK to following the new standards and guidance under unthinkable conditions.
The surrounding area will be improved with major improvements to London bridge Station and a shorter building nearby which will replace the London Bridge House, combined with new concourse, piazza and housing the area will be known as the London Bridge Quarter.
Full construction began on 16th March 2009, five cranes are to be used with four jumping with the tower as it rises higher. By March 2010 the concrete core was rising at a rate of 3 metres a day, by June 33rd Floor was reached, 27th July 2010 the core stopped rising as it had reached level 38 and needed to be reconfigured.
The first glass panel was installed on 25th May 2010, in late November a height of 235m (771 ft) was reached which overtook One Canada Square in Canary Wharf of a 18 year record holder of Britain’s tallest building.
By Feb 2011 the concrete floors had risen to level 46 with a floor being poured on average every week. The cladding has also progressed mainly on the lower levels.
By April 2011 the cladding now encompassed half the building’s exterior, and pouring of the floors had reached level 50.
During the last week of March 2012 the steel spire which weighs 500 tonnes was placed at the top of the building. This meant the London Shard become Europe’s tallest inhabited building standing at 310 metres. An estimated £450 million has been spent so far during construction.
Once completed views stretching for 40 miles will be possible in every direction. Visitors will be able to experience this from an observatory platform 72 floors up.
Pictures from above Daily Mail Article.