Architect was speaking at inauguration of Europe’s tallest building
Renzo Piano has described The Shard is a “sparkling spire flirting with the weather” and not a symbol of arrogance and power.
The architect was speaking at a ceremony to mark the external completion of the building this week, also attended by developer Irvine Sellar and his Qatari backers.
He said that the lengthy planning process required to secure permission for The Shard revealed the true nature of the building. “We had a public inquiry that lasted about two years and at the inquiry we went through all the aspects,” he said.
Piano also refused to justify his design, which has been met with criticism for its dominance of the London skyline, but admitted that architects hold a lot of responsibility.
“You have to be good,” he said. “We do a very dangerous job as architects – if you make a mistake it lasts a long time.”
Irvine Sellar, the building’s developer, claimed that the height of the building was never the priority in the design process. “The fact that we happen to be the tallest building in Western Europe is a by-product of what we wanted,” he said. “We wanted a multitude of uses and a design which we think is pretty spectacular.”
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