Peeping Toms, bust out the kazoos. Your field day has arrivedâ€”and it comes equipped with party favors. The Shard, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, is Londonâ€™s tallest skyscraper and, as of last week, home to a new luxury hotel. The rooms include breathtaking views of the cityâ€”and, thanks to a design flaw, unscrupulous views of unsuspecting neighbors.
Glass panels on the Shardâ€™s exterior bestow the building with a crystalline front and its namesake. But at night, the cityâ€™s lights turn the glass into mirrors that fully reflect guest bedrooms into each other. Complementary binoculars (â€œfor the view,â€ ahem) donâ€™t help matters. Nor do puns about the naked eye. Masking a blush? Rest easyâ€”susceptible rooms include shades for extra privacy.
After reviewing over 60 entries from around the world, The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has selected this yearâ€™s winners of its annualÂ Best Tall Buildings. Regional winners from Canada, China, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates have been announced, while an overall winner will be revealed at the CTBUH 12thÂ Annual Ceremony in November. Projects are recognized for their impacts on the development of tall buildings and the urban environment, and for sustainability.
It’s been a good year for breathtaking views of cities around the world so far. Today the observation deck at the top of Renzo Piano’s Shard Tower in London opened to the public after London Mayor Boris Johnson cut the ribbon on the 800-foot-high platform. To celebrate, The Guardian has launched an interactive panorama of London taken from the top of the Shard, some 1,150 feet above the city streets, complete with the wooshing sound you very well might hear if you were actually perched atop the tower. The panorama also featuresÂ stories and statistics about buildings and places throughout the city as you pan and zoom for the rest of the evening.