Sunday 1 April 2012: The Shard
Set off early for London today heading for the Royal Festival Hall for the Palm Sunday, Bach Choir performance of the St Matthew Passion. It was a wonderful, emotional and moving performance as always, with some very fine soloists. As I went with Mr and Mrs S, you can read more about the performance here.
The concert was broken up by a long lunch hour for picnicking and after we'd eaten our picnic and were having a leg stretch, we found a chocolate market set up behind the RFH. Unbelievably, they were charging £1.40 for a sample of chocolate - daylight robbery after last week's free samples at the Oxford chocolate market.
After the performance we wanted to see the Shard: the building had been completed on Friday. First we tried taking the singing lift (yes, truly, a lift that sings) at the RFH going right to the top, imagining that from there we would be able to see the tallest building in Europe, but no sign of it... So, we set off walking along the South Bank (and it was a glorious day) to see if we could catch a glimpse.
The Shard had reached its full 310 metres yet it managed to remain invisible from much of the South Bank. One of the builders apparently danced a jig at the very top to celebrate completion - the very thought made me sway a little. Finally, after some doubts about the exact location of the Shard, it came into view from the Jubilee Bridge. The final stages of building required Britain's highest crane on a platform that was level with the 55th floor. Angled glass panels (yet to be fixed on) will reflect the sky so that the building will change colour, turning blue after rain and red at sunset [and presumably grey most of the rest of the time in line with typical London skies?].
I'm not sure what I think about the Shard. What do you think - is it inappropriately ostentatious for the current financial climate, or is it a structure that thrills and excites you?
Also backblipped yesterday