I find it hard to understand why everyone isn’t a fan of the Shard, London’s big new office building.
OK, it will be filled with office drudgery, grossly-overpriced hotels and astonishingly-expensive apartments that even the rich won’t even be able to afford. And it’ll probably take a long time to fill with tenants and would bankrupt its owners – if they weren’t feudal rulers who need a way to launder their country’s wealth.
But apart from the Gherkin it’s probably the only one of the City and Canary Wharf skyscrapers with any sense of style, and I do like how it seems to echo the spires of the Wren-era churches that you see jutting out in images of pre 20th century London. Rather like I could put aside my dislike of hereditary monarchy and appreciate how the TV pictures of all those boats in the Jubilee flotilla echoed the Canaletto painting, for all its scale the Shard’s shape does seem to connect London to its historic appearance.
If nothing else, if you do genuinely dislike its appearance, you’ve got to admit that its construction led to the destruction of the dowdy 25 floor accountant-infested Southwark Towers. Once you think of that, what’s not to like?
I can’t wait to see the view.