26 Fun Facts About The Shard


Cities are recognisable for their distinctive skylines, and London is no exception. A scan along the River Thames and you will see a clash of heritage-rich bridges, towers and palaces nestled among modern, contemporary skyscrapers inclusive the Gherkin, Walkie Talkie and Heron Tower. Soaring the highest above the city and dwarfing the meeting rooms city of London is the Shard, the tallest building in the UK, so-called as it resembles a shard of glass.

From the Montcalm Hotel London, the skyscraper is a mere 1.4-mile journey by foot. Whether you are in town for pleasure or business, take a moment to appreciate the building either from afar or by visiting the vertigo-inducing observation deck. Brush up on your facts and show off your knowledge over dinner at the Chiswell Street dining rooms.

  1. The Shard is 309.6 metres (1,016 feet) high and has 95 storeys, with level 72 being the highest accessible.
  1. In addition to being the tallest building in the United Kingdom, the Shard is also the tallest building in the European Union, the fourth-tallest building in Europe and the 105th tallest building in the world.
  1. Before its nickname became formalised, the Shard was called the London Bridge Tower.
  1. The construction features 11,000 glass panels. The area of the glass façade is 56,000 square metres (602,779 square feet), which equals eight football pitches.
  1. It has 306 flights of stairs and 44 lifts.
  1. The average speed of the lifts in the Shard is 6 metres per second.
  1. Architect Renzo Piano designed the Shard as a spire-like sculpture emerging from the River Thames.
  1. Piano took inspiration from the London spires depicted by the 18th-century Venetian painter Canaletto as well as the masts of sailing ships.
  1. The concept of the Shard originated from English fashion retailer turned property developer, Irvine Gerald Sellar. He was the founder of the Sellar Property Group.
  1. The Shard is based on Sellar’s imagining of a ‘vertical city’ with multipurpose use. Sellar and his team envisaged a structure that had a variety of spaces within. Of the accessible floors, 27 are used for offices, 3 purely for restaurants, 18 are part of the five-star Shangri-La Hotel, and 13 are used for private residences. There are 2 service floors, with 5 floors used for observation. The final 23 floors are taken up by the spire.
  1. Construction costs are estimated to be a staggering £435 million.
  1. The Shard can be seen from 40 miles in any direction, and The View from The Shard provides views for up to 40 miles across London. Step outside the Montcalm Hotel London and it won’t take you long to catch a glimpse of the spire.
  1. Over one million people visited The View from The Shard within its first year of opening.
  1. 95% of the construction materials are recycled making the Shard very environmentally friendly.
  1. Further to this, the Shard is made from triple-glazed glass, with a layer of sun-shielding glass in between the inner and outer sheet meaning that it has good energy efficiency.
  1. The 34th to 52nd floors are commandeered by the Shangri-La Hotel, which has 202 luxury guest rooms available.
  1. The most expensive accommodation is the Shangri-La Suite, which offers unbeatable skyline views, a jacuzzi bath, a bottle of champagne and a private one-way transfer from any London airport. You also receive the attention of your own personal butler, for the rate of £10,000 per night.
  1. The Shangri-La’s infinity pool, the aptly named Sky Pool, is located on the 52nd floor, making it Europe’s highest swimming pool.
  1. There are six restaurants and bars within the Shard, each with very different menus and styles – Bar 31, Aqua Shard, Oblix, Hutong, TĪNG and GÔNG.
  1. Located on level 52, GŎNG Bar is the highest hotel bar in Western Europe and offers incredible views with your sunset cocktail. Their cocktail menu, A Miscellany of Inventions, is inspired by the greatest inventions of all time, including the hot air balloon, helicopter, Penicillin and the barcode.
  1. Viewing platform The View from The Shard host regular Silent Discos where guests can dance the night away above the twinkling lights of the city.
  1. A fox called Romeo made himself at home at the top of the Shard during its construction. After being discovered by the construction workers on the 72nd floor, he was captured and taken to the Riverside Animal Centre in Wallington where he was fed and checked out before being released back into the wild.
  1. Since his discovery, Romeo has become a mascot for the Shard. Romeo plushes are available for sale at the tower, with the proceeds going to a local charity. They can be found in some of the rooms at the Shangri-La too.
  1. As a classically romantic proposal venue, the Shard even offers a ‘proposal package’ which enlists the services of Kate Macdonald to coordinate the perfect moment. The package includes 30 minutes of exclusive hire of The View from The Shard, champagne for two, a personalised soundtrack and a goodie bag. You also have a personal proposal concierge to ensure the experience runs as smoothly and as romantically as possible.
  1. On March 12, 2016, a mystery man snuck his parachute into The Shard and BASE jumped from The View from The Shard. Upon landing safely outside Borough Market, the man abandoned the parachute and fled to the Underground station at London Bridge before police officers could take pursuit. His identity is still unknown.
  1. On July 11, 2013, six Greenpeace female activists scaled the Shard to send a message to Shell – in protest to their plans to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic. The women, all experienced climbers, begun their 16-hour climb at 4.20am by clambering onto the roof of London Bridge Underground Station. Upon reaching the summit, they unfurled a flag brandishing the message “Save the Arctic”. The women were subsequently arrested, however, their daring appeal gathered the support of the media and bemused onlookers.