Saturday, 7 July 2012

Shard up!

With all the fuss and nonsense in the UK media about the opening of the Shard Tower in London, you'd think it was something really special.

The highest building in Europe, my foot.

All depends on your definition of a building, I suppose. Yes, it is the highest habitable building, but there are numerous other building constructions that are much higher in the EU.

To start with, there's the Eiffel Tower, and that was built in 1889 and measures 320 metres. Then there's the UK's own Belmont Transmitting Tower, recently shortened to 351 metres (and a tad). And, of course, who could forget La Torreta in Guardamar Del Segura, standing at a far more impressive 370 metres. That's 60 metres higher than the Shard.

And if you want something other than towers, how about the Millau Viaduct, perhaps the loveliest bridge in the world, and certainly one of the most impressive, with one mast at 343 metres.

As far as being an English achievement is concerned, the Shard was designed by an Italian and funded by Qatar royalty and banks.

The Shard project developer was, at least, English (I believe): Irvine Sellar.