Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Piano promises Thames jump if Shard turns out like Barbican

  • Comment

Renzo Piano has vowed he would throw himself in the Thames if his super-tall Shard skyscraper turned out like the Barbican towers.


The Italian-born architect, who was in town for the London Architecture Biennale, made the extraordinary claim in front of a gaggle of international journalists on Friday.



Piano claimed he would be very disappointed if his 72-storey mixed-used tower in Southwark ended up looking like the much-loved Brutalist 1960s Barbican development.



Pointing at the landmark concrete towers, the 68-year-old architect said: ‘I will jump in the river if I do something like that.’



The international architect was speaking before his Southwark Cathedral ‘Sermon’ on Friday.



Piano’s highly-publicised Shard scheme at Tower Bridge is set to become Europe’s tallest tower at 304m high - although the architect confesses the top 60m of the glazed skyscraper will only house a ‘radiator.’



London’s most famous concrete residential towers were not the only target of Piano’s wrath.



The designer, who collaborated with Richard Rogers on the Pompidou Centre in Paris and helped him steer a herd of sheep through central London on Saturday, was also critical of the city’s drive to build more skyscrapers.



He said: ‘[London Bridge] is one of the few places that you can build a tower [in the capital].



‘You cannot make towers everywhere and London is a city which can be densified without necessarily making tall.’



He added: ‘[And] you can stop making more suburbs by filling in the black holes in the urban framework.’



by Richard Waite

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.