Building Blocks Series 1: Windows Matter

8 Oct

As you know, here at FENSA we love windows. That’s why we decided to put this blog series together, where we focus on iconic buildings and how the glazing has contributed to the overall impact.

Where better to start than Western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard?
Standing at a staggering 309.6m and clad entirely in glass from top to toe with 11,000 windows, we thought it would make a perfect subject for our blog.
The Shard was designed in 2000 by Renzo Piano, an Italian architect, who saw his vision officially opened in the presence of the Prince of York on 5th July 2012.

Before any work could commence on the Shard itself, there was already a 24-storey office block standing where it was going to be built called Southwark Towers, which had to be demolished. This was done level by level, until the building disappeared in 2009.

The way was then clear to start the construction of the Shard in February 2009. By November 2010 it had passed the 235m mark, becoming Britain’s tallest building.
In December 2011, the Shard had become the tallest building in the European Union, well on its way for the final 516 panes of glass to be added in April 2012, completing the Shard at its full height of 309.6 m
This amazing building was glazed with special façades of angled glass panes that could reflect sunlight and the sky above. These panes of glass meant that the appearance of the Shard would change with the weather and seasons. It also meant 11,000 windows! That translates to 8 football pitches or 602.779sq feet.

Now that is a serious window cleaning headache!

David Burrows /

The View from The Shard is the highest vantage point from any building in Western Europe and almost twice as high as any other viewing point in London with a 360 degree view. It will be awe inspiring to experience the view from the Shard opening on 1 February 2013 and we can’t wait!
If this blog has sparked an interest in this stunning building, there is more information and a wonderful gallery of photos on the Shard website


2 Responses to “Building Blocks Series 1: Windows Matter”

  1. AWM uPVC Windows (@AWM_uPVC) October 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    Looks awesome! All buildings in London should be designed like this.

  2. alanlee205175322 January 31, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    We visited the Shard after getting preview tickets. Was very well run but I’m not sure I would pay £25 per person. Anyway, we made a video of our visit… we pretty much captured everything in it so you don’t need to go up.. all for free on YouTube:

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