Shard London Bridge or The Shard (formerly known as London Bridge Tower or the Shard of Glass) is a skyscraper in Southwark, London. Standing 309.6 metres (1,016 ft) above ground level, it is the tallest building in the European Union as of July 2012. It is also the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, after the 330-metre (1,083 ft) concrete tower at the Emley Moor transmitting station.
The Shard replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-storey office building constructed on the site in 1975. Renzo Piano, the Shard's architect, worked with the architectural firm Broadway Malyan during the planning stage. The tower has 72 habitable floors, with a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck -- the UK's highest -- on the 72nd floor, at a height of 245 metres (804 ft). The Shard was designed with an irregular pyramidal shape from the base to the top, and is clad entirely in glass. Its structure was completed in April 2012, and it opened to the public on 5 July 2012.