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Revealed: a first nosey around the View from the Shard

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The eagerly anticipated viewpoint at the top of the London’s tallest building will open to the public later this week

The View from the Shard, which officially opens its doors on Friday (1 February), will allow visitors to see the ‘whole of London’ from the ‘highest vantage point in Western Europe’.

Lifts speed to the enclosed triple-height main viewing gallery where there is access to the outdoor platform on the 72nd floor, 244 metres above the ground. Here there are 360° views of the city and on a clear day it is possible to see up to 40 miles.

Renzo Piano explains the thinking behind the viewpoint: ‘London is a city of inspiration and imagination. When we designed the Shard, a viewing gallery was part of our thinking from the start. We wanted to create a public space where people could visit the building to experience London in a different way and also feel that they have discovered the spirit of the building.

‘Level 72 is a wonderful example of this: in the open air on the highest floor, you are surrounded by the shards of glass as well as the sights, sounds, elements and atmosphere of the city below. On top of the city, but also within it.’

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Best views of London

  • Shard, Renzo Piano (£24.95)
  • London Eye, Marks Barfield (£25)
  • One New Change, Jean Nouvelle & Sidell Gibson Architects (free)
  • BT Tower, Ministry of Public Buildings and Works (Private receptions only)
  • The Monument, refurbishment by Julian Harrap Architects (£3)
  • Tate Modern, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (free)
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