The View from the Shard, the observation deck of London’s tallest skyscraper, officially opened to the public today.
London mayor Boris Johnson inaugurated the 1,072 ft building with architect Renzo Piano.
Over 4,800 people have already bought tickets to go up 72 floors of the building.
Tickets are priced at £24.95 for adults and £18.95 for children.
Speaking at the launch, Piano said, “This building is magic for a number of reasons.
“First, because it’s in London, second, because it’s so tall, and third, because this building is a part of London. It’s a sense of London.”
Boris added: “It’s the closest thing to being in an airplane and looking down on London.”
The first day of the Shard also saw James Episcopou from Essex proposing to his girlfriend Laura Taylor.
The viewing area is fitted with “Tell: scopes” that help you get a close up of iconic building and has information about 200 London locations in 10 languages.
While on a clear day you can see as far as 40 miles but views might disappoint visitors on a rainy day.
The mastermind behind The View from the Shard is Anders Nyberg, the former director of the Burj Al Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world.
LondonlovesBusiness.com got a sneak preview of the view last month and here’s what Nyberg told us:
“From the top of the Shard, you can see the vista of the whole of London,” he says. “The Thames snaking through the city, the railway tracks going out, landmarks old and new. It’s like you’re looking at London’s life in all its glory.
“You’re at a vantage point from where you can see the whole of London at once – I think Londoners would love it.”
Speaking about whether the tickets are too expensive, Anders said, “Basically, £24.95 is very comparable to other attractions. We’re offering as much of a queue-free operation as it can get. Immediate access or a fast pass for London Eye or Madame Tussuads costs well over £25. Everything we sell has a date and time. You arrive half hour before the time designated on your ticket and you can stay as long as you like. No exit time, you need to get out only when we close the attraction at night.
The Shard will be officially launched in July this year. The building will house 600,000sq ft of offices, three floors of restaurants, 10 luxury apartments and a 200-room Shangri-La hotel.
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