This 72-storey, mixed-use development in the central London borough of Southward, by the river Thames, is envisioned as a vertical city with retail, entertainment, residential units, luxury hotel, offices and observation galleries. The tower's design, described as a "shard of glass," adds a sharp and light presence in the London skyline. Its shape is generous at the bottom and narrow at the top, disappearing into the air like the mast of a tall ship. The tower is sheathed in glass, using a ventilated double-skin facade to reduce heat gain.
On levels 3 to 28, office space totaling approximately 70,000 sm, provides a variety of working environments. Each of the office floors contains naturally-ventilated winter gardens. These break-out spaces and meeting areas allow occupants to enjoy natural light and fresh air in a multifunctional, fully occupiable space. The deluxe Shangri-La Hotel, on floors 34 to 52, is accessed by a dedicated entrance at street level. Occupying over 220,000 sm of space, the hotel provides 202 beautifully furnished guest rooms and suites. The guestrooms, which average more than 42 sq meters each, are amongst the largest in London. Guests enter the hotel via a double-height lobby with uninterrupted views of London. The living spaces at the Shard occupy storeys 53 to 65 and feature some of the finest apartments in London with some of them taking up two entire floors of the building.
Through the extensive use of the latest energy saving techniques and materials, the Shard achieved a BREEAM rating ‘Excellent’ rating. A ventilated double-skin facade considerably reduces heat gain and increases comfort levels close to the façade, while permitting the maximum natural day light. Naturally ventilated winter gardens with operable windows are located on each of the office floors, allowing the occupants to connect with the outside environment. It is estimated that the new tower requires 30% less energy than typically required by conventional tall buildings.