The View From The Shard
“It’s like Google maps!”
Yes, that is what the view from the top of The Shard is like. Or maybe it’s a bit like being God.
by Sian-Estelle Petty
Every day for the last few years I have walked past the building site and watched The Shard thrust its way towards the clouds. I was keen to see if it was worthy of the hype, and how London looks from so very, very high up. From the 75th floor…
The entrance to The Shard feels welcoming, yet slightly futuristic. Colourful light boxes depicting iconic aspects and people of Britain give you a sense of the diversity and ‘muchness’ of the view at the top.
Imagine the view from an aeroplane, on an early morning flight as you fly though the clouds. Condensation on the windows blurs the sun into a fuzz of pink with tiny buildings poking out from below, looking comically cute.
Every window is an opportunity to spot well-known landmarks and piece together the city I live in from a new perspective. There’s Battersea Power Station, there’s the BT Tower looking like an ominous insect; and there’s work, Shakespeare’s Globe, looking tiny nestled behind a building I have never properly taken notice of from the ground.
The age-old saying about people looking like ants from a very high perspective has never been more apt. Watching commuters cross London Bridge is like seeing a Lowry painting in motion. Viewing London from this height makes visible the remarkable ways in which we have ordered the chaos of history and humanity into railways and roads.
What goes up must come down, and it takes all of 30 seconds to go from the clouds to the ground. Wandering through the shop, my eye is caught by a stuffed fox, a fluffy homage to Romeo, the plucky fox cub that made The Shard his home for two weeks and the national headlines.
I would whole-heartedly recommend visiting The Shard to gain a new perspective of London and the tiny part you play in its dynamic diorama.
Open to the public from February 2013. Tickets available at http://www.theviewfromtheshard.com/