The Shard: A Year in Photos

When construction first began on The Shard back in 2009, it seemed like 2012 was a long, long way away.  It has been just over a year since The Shard first began peeking out over rooftops in the London Bridge area and a full year since I started taking photos.  So, without further ado, I present you a year of photos of The Shard.  Click on any of the photos for an enlargement.


March 2010


The Shard London Bridge March 2010

In March 2010, the building was about 18 levels high.  All that we could see was the central core and while there was a framework around the bottom 7 levels or so, there was not much to see down there yet.

The Shard London Bridge March 2010 (4)


April 2010


The Shard London Bridge April 2010

By April 2010, The Shard began to dominate the sky as you walked out of London Bridge Station forecourt.  In just one month, they had made incredible progress and the framework for the lower levels and lobby seemed to be complete, as was the framework for the first three concrete floors.  The core had reached about 20 levels (it is difficult to see how much more has been built under the Mace banner).

The Shard London Bridge April 2010 (4)


May 2010


The Shard London Bridge May 2010

In just three weeks from April 30 to May 20, 2010, the core had shot up 7 levels to 27 levels.  Work on the concrete floors (which I increasingly began to view as either a ‘skirt’ or cake layers) continued to five floors.

The Shard London Bridge May 2010 (4)


August 2010


The Shard London Bridge August 2010

For a period of time, there didn’t appear to be any discernible difference in the progress of The Shard, but over the summer of 2010, the core rose to 37 levels and the outer layers really did begin to look like the skirt of a flamenco dress with all of that red and black.  If you look at the photo below-right, you will also see that the building began to extend slightly to the east.

The Shard London Bridge August 2010 (4)

The glass work began to be visible above the tops of buildings later in the year and the bottom levels were lit up to look like a Christmas tree.  I wish I had taken a photo of that but was far too cold and miserable to be taking out my camera!


January 2011


The Shard London Bridge January 2011

By January 2011, The Shard had begun to dominate the London skyline.  The core had reached its highest level at level 72 and the concrete floors had reached to about level 44.  The glass cladding had reached about level 35.

The Shard London Bridge January 2011 (4)


February 2011


The Shard London Bridge February 2011

The concrete floors reached level 46 by the end of February and the glass cladding continued to be completed around the building.  Attention was given to the extended blocks to the east of the building.


March 2011


The Shard London Bridge March 2011

By the end of March 2011, the concrete floors had reached level 50 and the cladding was complete to level 38.  The work on the extended blocks was mostly completed and I imagine it will simply be onwards and upwards now until the building is completed.

I certainly cannot wait until the observation deck is complete and look forward to one final year of Shard watching.  The Shard is currently the tallest building in London and the United Kingdom and exceeded One Canada Square in late November 2010.

17 comments on "The Shard: A Year in Photos"
  1. What an amazing journey this has been, I am so glad that you are sharing this progress with us!

    I remember the construction of a building in our city, One Exchange Place. The project was fascinating to watch, the evolution, the months where it seemed like nothing would change and then all of the sudden a huge new look.

    The Shard is a beautiful building!

  2. Ok, for those of us school bodies out of the loop, me, what is the Shard's purpose? It's a fabulous feat of architecture just the same.

  3. Last time I was in London they hadn't even started building this... it sure doesn't take long at all these days for city sky lines to change. I like it so far and totally with you in not being able to wait until they have an observation deck we can all visit! It's going to be quite some view :)

  4. Emm great sequence of photographs and commentary. Reckon I won't know London on my next visit to the UK!

  5. I remember looking at some of the architect drawing online of how the Shard was going to look when it was complete and the glass frontage so far doesn't look anywhere near as impressive as it does in the drawings.

    Maybe some of the other once were the tallest buildings in London need to go and put a bigger spike on their roof and they will be able to claim the title back again...

  6. Can't wait for further updates! It's really massive, and will make a big change to the look of London.

  7. Wow, it`s a wonderful building and documantation of you! Really like your pictures, the angle of some of them. And the nightshots in january is great!! It`s fun to taking picture over a year of the same ting and see how it grows up.
    The highest building in my town is maybe 10 or 20 meters..hehe
    Thanks for all your nice comment on my pictures:-)
    Wish you blessed days over there. Hugs from Norway

  8. Thank you for the journey. Really interesting to see the process of it being usually just flies by everyday life. It's great that you've taken the time to notice its creation.

  9. It doesn't take them long to throw a building up these days does it? Does the shard remind anyone else of a giant Dalek from Doctor Who?

  10. Wow! This is pretty amazing Emm.

    Do you go out and count the floors every time you update us? ;-)

  11. Just stopping by to thank you for visiting my blog! Great pictures!

  12. Amazing, isn't it?! It's going top look fantastic but my only reservation is what it's doing to the historical buildings. I hope thy aren't going to be overpowered. It was your shot of the progress with Tower Bridge in the foreground that made me wonder. I dare say we'll soon become accustomed to a new perspective.

  13. Breathtaking shots, Emm!!
    I adore them.

    They brought such good memories to me.
    Great info, too.

    Betty xx

  14. Wow, you've done an excellent job taking pictures of its progress from all angles. Looking forward to your pictures taken from the inside.

  15. it's great to see the Shard in different stages of development. great photos and commentary.

  16. @ Marion: I looked up One Exchange Place - it has stunning lines! I hope The Shard is that beautiful on completion.

    @ Lauren: It is going to be apartments, offices and shopping areas but its importance lies in that it is now the tallest building in England.

    @ Supergreensunbear: Yay! Another fan!

    @ Mike: Thank you! Don't worry, there is a lot of London that remains the same but it is certainly different from what it was 15 years ago.

    @ William: Aaaah, but they don't get to airbrush in real life, see. :)

    @ Kathy: I agree! I think it will be iconic.

    @ Spiderdama: Heh. That is why I love living in a city! I like the skyscrapers!

    @ Armand Cordero: Thank you! I will try to keep it up.

    @ Ryan: Hahahaha! I'm petrified of Daleks so I can't possibly compare!

    @ DelBoy: Naaah. If you look closely, you'll see the floor markers in the photos!

    @ Joyce: Thank you!

    @ Sheila: Thankfully it is not right on top of any iconic sites and is quite removed from Tower Bridge. I imagine that they only got away with it because it is away from St Pauls.

    @ Betty: Thank you!

    @ AVCr8teur: Haha! Me too! Cannot wait to see the inside!

    @ Life Ramblings: Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.

  17. London is my hometown - when I moved to my mum's native Germany in 2008, the skyline looked different. There seems to have been loads of development on the architectural front. Next month I'll be visiting for the first time in three years.

    So you're South African... I have to admit that Savannah Dry is one of my favourite ciders! ;-)

    Have a nice weekend Mandy!


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