Is The Shard a "catastrophe"?

Some commentators think the tallest building in Europe has broken London's rules
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Renzo Piano's The Shard
Renzo Piano's The Shard

Seven weeks after its audacious opening, not everyone is keen on Renzo Piano's London skyscraper. While Norman Rosenthal insists "It is a masterpiece of visual design by one of the great living architects," Jonathan Jones is more circumspect.

The Shard remains controversial almost two months after its completion
The Shard remains controversial almost two months after its completion

His complaint is one of proportion. The Shard, Jones believes, has broken the capital's rules. "On the Tate Modern bridge the other day I stopped, transfixed," he says. "This is an architectural catastrophe for London. Forget what this ethereal spike would look like in a city of towers, a financial district already soaring. Stabbed into the historic fabric of a city that has never built especially tall, dwarfing Southwark Cathedral and such nearby landmarks as Tower Bridge, the Monument and even Tate's converted power station, it seems a lunatic attack on London." Safe to assume Jones won't be booking tickets for a ride to the top. Those keen to see the view from the 72nd Floor can book here, now. Trips start in 2013.

 


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