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A Vision of the Future – The Shard

10 Nov 2010

This week’s post focuses on two glass buildings that are set to be completed in 2012 and will be the tallest in London. The Shard standing at an incredible 1017 feet will also be the highest building in the EU when complete; this will be closely followed by The Pinnacle that will stand at 954 feet tall.

Architect Renzo Piano, renowned for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, is behind The Shard project and suggests the building will resemble a large iceberg or shard of glass emerging from the nearby river Thames.  Glazing will play a key role in the project that will be a world away from the 70s built concrete office block it’s replacing. Renzo intends for angled panes to reflect light and the changing patterns of the sky, so that the form of the building will change according to the weather and season. Pilkington Optiwhite™ low iron glass is being used to glaze the building and will be combined with a solar control coating, making the facade highly energy efficient , therefore helping to reduce the running costs of the building . 

The glass building will stand in the heart of the regeneration of London Bridge and will be the tallest in the UK with floor space comprising of commercial, retail and residential occupancy. We cannot wait to see it complete in 2012.

Over in the city’s financial district The Pinnacle is also nearing completion, and like The Shard, its appearance is far from conventional with the use of glass playing a pivotal role in cultivating its unique shape.

Referred to as the Helter Skelter, the design of the building has an organic feel to project a natural look. People are already suggesting its curved upper levels resemble mushrooms, sea shells and even armadillos! Glass features prominently in the make-up of this building and has been specified as a building material primarily to retain heat and help reduce the buildings energy loss – with both thermal and solar control properties playing an important part, similar to those in our own product range, for example Pilkington Suncool™ and Pilkington Eclipse Advantage™. Interestingly, every pane of glass being used is also exactly the same size to reduce construction costs and needless waste.

The use of glazing on these soon to be iconic buildings highlights the practical and aesthetic benefits of glass – no matter what the scale of a building; it can be deployed as a truly inspirational alternative to bricks and mortar.