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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Tuesday May 29 2012

One of the best things about making the territory right near where you live, in my case London, the principle object of your photographic devotion, is that if you find some particular place that you especially like, you can go back there and have another go at it.

So, for instance, having found my way to the top of One New Change on May 5th, I went back there on May 22nd.  And the pick of the new crop of photos I took from there was definitely this one:

image

That this building does reflection so well just adds to that invisible-to-radar vibe.

It amuses me somewhat; The Shard is always how I imagined the Ministry Of Truth in 1984 to look, being described as “an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete rising 300 metres into the air”. Even the height is almost exactly right.

Posted by Friday Night Smoke on 31 May 2012

One of my Micklethwait’s Laws states that the more I like a new building, the less I will like what will go on inside it.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 02 June 2012

The completed Shard will contain premium office space, a hotel, luxury residences, retail space, restaurants, a 15-storey public viewing gallery, and a spa.

Hotel, good. Retail space, good. Public viewing gallery, sort of okay. (Why do you need fifteen stories for a public viewing gallery?) I am guessing the rest of it will be occupied in various ways by people of the same ilk as the Qataris who funded it. So, yes, you are probably right. (The “premium office space” is in the wrong part of London for most of the industries that usually occupy premium office space, so I think we are talking strange niches occupied by people with too much money).

(Apparently there is not now any government offices in the lower floors, so that is something).

Posted by Michael Jennings on 02 June 2012

That doesn’t sound too bad.

I look forward to the retail space.  That’s potentially good in itself, and also because there will be pressure from the shopkeepers for them not to reneg on the viewing gallery (as often happens with viewing galleries), so that lots of people will go to the viewing gallery, past the shops.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 02 June 2012

Viewing galleries on iconic buildings do not go away - they are in fact huge sources of cash for the people who own the buildings. To visit the viewing gallery, you will have to pay a price that makes you wince (about £20 seems to be the current going rate for equivalent buildings in other cities), but a significant portion of visitors from London will pay it anyway, and those of us who live here will possibly pay it once soon after it opens and then possibly again when we have family visiting from out of town (as happens). The Empire State Building has been making money this year for about 80 years, and the World Trade Center did equally well until the unfortunate events of a decade ago. I am slightly concerned that devoting fifteen stories to it may be a little optimistic, but there will be a viewing gallery for as long as the building remains worth visiting.

The slight danger is that some other building will become more iconic (ie taller) ie larger, but I suspect that if that happens you and I will just go to the larger building. We will see if the London Eye survives the advent of the Shard viewing gallery.

The opportunity is that there might be some other place in the Shard where one can enjoy the view without paying the £20. It is quite possible that there might be a bar or restaurant near the top somewhere. (The fact that there is a hotel in the building is a good sign). I have encountered tall buildings in other cities where it was cheaper to go to a bar near the top and buy a beer than it was to go to the viewing gallery. The World Trade Center in NYC had a viewing gallery at the top of one tower and a nice restaurant at the top of the other. I get the impression that New Yorkers miss the restaurant (Windows on the World) more than just about anything else about the World Trade Center. It was a favourite place to take your loved one when you wanted to ask her to marry you and stuff like that, so many people had very happy memories of it.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 02 June 2012

Got some good shots of the shard last week whilst walking over London Bridge, pity it was just with a camphone, check out the rays glaring off it, last one is from under the Monument, I’d guess a great shot could come from on top of the Monument.

Missed earlier shots of the tip just inside the cloud, like during the Jubilee River Pageant. Reminds me of the Citadel in Half Life 2.

Shard1.jpg
Shard2.jpg
Shard3.jpg

Posted by Ian F4 on 04 June 2012
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