The View From The Shard

Wed, 13 Feb 2013
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Opening on February 1, 2013, the View from the Shard is a two-level deck (the first enclosed, the second partially open to the elements) on floors 68 to 72 of the Shard, offering Londoners and visitors with a good head for heights panoramic, 360-degree views across the capital and beyond (up to 64 kilometres, or 40 miles in old money, on a clear day) from 244 metres (800 feet) up; almost twice the height of any other viewing point in London. Visitors travel in high-speed lifts that take just 30 seconds to reach the ‘View’, which also features multimedia displays and installations. The experience includes tongue-in-cheek illustrations of famous Londoners past and present, including Margaret Thatcher and Karl Marx on a tandem and Vidal Sassoon and Vivienne Westwood giving Charles I a makeover. At ground floor level there are video screens and display panels showing digital maps of London and film footage of city life. In a decidely upmarket twist on elevator muzak, a soaring anthem recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Joyful Company of Singers provides the soundtrack to the ascent. In the viewing galleries, digital ‘Tell:scopes’ with large touchscreens enable visitors to explore the city around them in real time, identifying famous landmarks and places of interest, as well as offering annotated alternative day and night-time views of the capital.