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The Shard in London opens new visitor attraction
The View from The Shard, the new visitor experience at the top of The Shard, London’s newest landmark, has been unveiled for the first time, ahead of the attraction’s official opening to the public on 1 February 2013.
Providing 40 miles (64km), and 360 degree views of the city, 800 feet (244m) above the ground, The Shard is poised to be a unique visitor attraction.
The ground floor of the building features a gallery which has over 140 famous Londoners in playful juxtapositions to greet visitors, including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pictured as Pearly King and Queen; London Mayor, Boris Johnson, shining the shoes of his rival, Ken Livingstone; and Kate Moss marrying King Henry VIII, amongst many others.
The gallery also features animated maps and video screens illustrating the growth of London and reveal the context of the historic London Bridge location -the oldest crossing point over the Thames - around which the city has expanded.
Through a series of short films, guests are given glimpses of London’s diverse communities and famous streets and places across the capital, all of which is visible from the viewing galleries over 200m above them. It also features interactive displays to demonstrate how this unique building is connected to the city.
The building offers four lifts in total for the guests to travel up and down to the viewing galleries. Guests depart the ground floor in ‘kaleidoscopic’ lifts that has video screens and mirrors to create the effect of soaring through ceilings and roofs of London. As they ascend towards the pinnacle of The Shard they pass through the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Rubens ceiling at the Banqueting House in Whitehall, the spiral staircase at Monument, and the British Museum’s Great Court glass roof. The descent lifts feature different visual effects.
Visitors can transfer lifts at Level 33 through an all-enveloping graffiti word map of London. Guests follow an image of the River Thames curving along the floor and see the capital mapped geographically around them in 200 sentences scrawled on the walls and floor, each describing a different part of the city.
The Level 69 features the main viewing gallery from where visitors can take 360 degree views for up to 40 miles over the capital. It also features ultra high-tech digital telescopes, which enables the guests to explore the city around them in real time, as well as offering alternative or pre-recorded day and night-time views.
Featuring free Wi-Fi services, The shard provides guests the facility to share pictures, thoughts and views. Level 68 of The Shard features a boutique that enables guests to take home mementoes and limited edition souvenirs.
London’s newest landmark, The Shard, has been designed by Renzo Piano and developed by Sellar Property in association with LBQ Ltd. The regeneration project is essentially a vertical town comprising offices, restaurants, the five star Shangri-La hotel, residences and the stunning View From The Shard visitor attraction.
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