Life inside The Shard, an occupier’s perspective

From the very beginning, the idea of The Shard by its developer Irvine Seller and architect Renzo Piano was to be ‘a vital place of interchange’. Renzo stated, “I foresee the tower as a Vertical City, for thousands of people to work in and enjoy, and for millions to take to their hearts.”

With the confirmation of two new tenants joining The Shard in 2016, Jellyfish and MATCHESFASHION.COM, letting over 44,000 sq ft of office space, the building is now closing towards full occupancy. With 27 companies across 15 business sectors represented within the building, 2016 is the year to reach out to the pulse of the building, its people, to discover what life at The Shard truly entails. 

The interviews, which have been compiled into a short film, uncover from an occupiers’ perspective the experience of moving into the UK’s first Vertical City, The Shard. The occupiers discuss their initial experiences during the leasing process, the energy and culture of the building, and the benefits the move has ultimately had on the business. 

The first new letting of 2016 was MATCHESFASHION.COM who will be taking 35,000 sq ft on Levels 7 and 8. Co-Founder of MATCHESFASHION.COM Ruth Chapman when describing the experience explained “From the moment we met The Shard team there was an instant chemistry between us,” and when commenting on her staffs reaction to the move she said “The people who are existing in the business right now are very excited about being somewhere with so much cultural life.”

Eric Lawson Smith, Partner at Arma Partners, who relocated in 2014, described during the interview “Our move to The Shard has fundamentally changed the way in which we work as a business, it’s really promoted a much tighter culture amongst the whole organisation”. A sentiment endorsed by Marketing Director Richard Hudson at Sapphire Systems who also commented “There’s a culture here that brings together the businesses within the building,” and Charlie Green, Co-Founder at The Office Group who observed “There’s a sense of community to work around and we feed off the energy of other like-minded businesses.In addition to tenants divulging the cultural aspects they’ve experienced from the local area and from within the building itself, many referred to how moving to The Shard benefitted their business.

Founder of Foresight, Bernard Fairman stated that since moving into the building almost two years ago “the business has doubled in size. It’s been an unadulterated success as we’ve grown so fast, you could call that The Shard effect.”

“This has been one of the best investments our business has ever made.”
Eric Lawson Smith
Partner at Arma Partners