05 July 2012 10:46
Europe's tallest building will be officially unveiled in central London today, as complaints grow about the price of tickets to visit the viewing platform.
The Shard's tapered design and glass panelling have already made the skyscraper one of the capital's most iconic landmarks, at over 1,000 feet tall.
The tower, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, will contain offices, exclusive residences, a luxury hotel, restaurants and a viewing gallery across 72 occupiable floors.
Londoners will be treated to a spectacular laser show to be projected from The Shard shortly after 10pm, marking the completion of the exterior of the building, with work on the inside expected to continue into 2013.
The skyscraper is part of a 2m sq ft development in Southwark called London Bridge Quarter.
The Shard and its sister development The Place are linked with London Bridge station through a new central plaza, public realm, bus station and train station concourse.
Tickets to go up and see the view from February 1st 2013 will go on sale at 9am tomorrow, with more than 17,500 people already having registered their interest online. Advance tickets cost £24.95 for adults and £18.95 for children.
However, the price of the tickets has led to anger from Londoners who feel that the price is "exorbitant".
Russell Gray, of the Bermondsey Village Action Group, said: "It does sound pretty exorbitant.
"I don't think many local people will be going up to the viewing platform at that price."
He continued: "We have this massive pyramid slapped down here as a monument to the munificence of the Emirate of Qatar.
"Yet the price is yet another of the many examples of how the Shard is clearly at odds with the community in which it's defiantly planted itself."