THE SHARD. London’s tallest tower, The Shard, opened July 5. This article by Ian Evans in the Christian Science Monitor calls it the “arguably most controversial tower in a generation”, and notes that Prince Charles calls it “an enormous salt shaker”. This wikipedia article says that Renzo Piano, the architect, “…considered the slender, spire-like form of the tower a positive addition to the London skyline, recalling the church steeples featured in historic engravings of the city….” English Heritage disagreed, saying the building would be “A shard of glass through the heart of historic London”, thereby giving the building its name. This BBC slide show asks: “Why do tall buildings have such silly names?” The slideshow has pictures of several of the buildings with silly names. Some of the names are: the Gherkin, the Razor, the Armadillo, the Filing Cabinet, the Cheese Grater and the Walkie-Talkie. I don’t think the BBC gives an answer, other than the observation that the British don’t take their architecture seriously.
What do I think? I find a lot of skyscrapers beautiful, but I think I would have to be in London to form an opinion on how The Shard fits in the London skyline.