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Despite Stalled Economy, European Skyscrapers are Reaching Record Heights

Mon July 09, 2012 - National Edition
CEG


The Shard London Bridge under construction but topped out - May 2012. Photo courtesy of BJ Mullen.
The Shard London Bridge under construction but topped out - May 2012. Photo courtesy of BJ Mullen.

LONDON (AP) — Europe’s tallest building has been officially unveiled in London, but its tenure as the continent’s highest skyscraper will be brief.

The Shard, a 95-story tower which stands at 310 meter (1,016 feet), dwarfs almost everything around it, including nearby Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral.

It was officially named on July 5th as the highest tower in Europe, in a ceremony carried out by Britain’s Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

Named for its resemblance to a sliver of glass, The Shard is to include apartments, offices, restaurants and a five-star hotel.

Developer Irvine Sellar says the giant building will prove to be a success, despite Britain’s sluggish economy.

The Shard, however, is expected to be surpassed before the end of the year by Russia’s planned 332 meter (1,089 feet) Mercury City Tower. The Tower is a skyscraper currently under construction in the Moscow International Business Center of Moscow.