THE SHARD: FIVE YEARS ON
A look back at The Shard's inauguration on the 5th July and key moments from the five years that followed.
The Shard was formally inaugurated on 5th July 2012 by His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabor Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, and HRH the Duke of York KG. The event marked the physical completion of the exterior of the building and represented the culmination of a 12-year journey to build a significant new landmark on the London skyline. The inauguration was also marked by a spectacular light and laser show that illuminated the building.
In 2013 the building opened to the general public with the launch of The View from The Shard on 1st February, Oblix in May, Hutong in June and aqua shard in July. In October, Sir Paul McCartney's album launch was live streamed by millions around the world and in November there was a royal visit from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. The year ended with Duff & Phelps becoming the first office occupier to move in.
Throughout 2014 a diverse mix of office occupiers move into the building including Mathys & Squire, South Hook Gas, Arma Partners, Al Jazeera, Campari and Foresight Group,with The Shard winning Riba's 'Best Commercial Building' Award at the beginning of May. Later that month, Shangri-La Hotel opened with 202 guest rooms, an artisan deli on the ground floor, a lounge and restaurant on level 35 and a destination cocktail bar on the 52nd floor. In July, The Shard hosted the first of a four part series Shard Talks where four experts gave their views on key workplace issues. Warwick Business School established their first presence in London in September 2014 and soon became one of the world's leading business schools with its executive MBA course ranked in the world's top 20 and top in the UK for stand-alone executive MBAs. Ending the year, Al Jazeera broadcast live from the building for the first time.
A number of new office occupiers agreed deals to lease space at The Shard in 2015 including Tiffany & Co., Sapphire Systems, Greenberg Traurig, io oil & gas, The Office Group, Robert Half and . Valentine's Day at The View from The Shard saw record sales of 6,161 visitors, 2414 glasses of Champagne served and a marriage proposal every 30 seconds. In June, The Shard officially launched London Technology Week.Three more Shard Talks events were held with three key themes; Tech, Design and Place.
The year began with HCA Healthcare opening their new outpatients and diagnostics centre on levels 4, 5 and 6 of The Shard. A number of other companies including Gallup, Khazanah, Jellyfish, MATCHESFASHION.COM, Dods, Tabcorp and Kraft Heinz also took space in The Shard offices. In May, The Shard was voted number five in Raconteur's 'Most Beautiful Building'. Achievements continued when the building achieved a WiredScore Platinum Rating for Connectivity., followed by the building achieving it's Section 106 target by placing 447 Southwark residents in employment. 2016 came to a close with David Attenborough addressing the nation from the 87th floor of The Shard in the final episode of BBC's Planet Earth II.
Success for The Shard office occupiers continued in 2017 with three companies making the International Track 200 and MATCHESFASHION.COM expanding their global headquarters. In April The Shard celebrated wellness in the workplace with a series of activities to improve work life balance. Other events in 2017 to date have included Bisnow's first UK appearance, The Brit Awards After-Party and BCO's annual conference.