This week Aditya Chakrabortty, economy writer for The Guardian, filed a piece about how Shard London Bridge—or simply "the Shard," as it's known—is the embodiment of all that's evil and wicked in the world. Funded primarily by Qatari investors, designed by Renzo Piano (Centre Pompidou in Paris, the new New York Times building in Manhattan) in 2000, and set to officially open next week—not without protests, no doubt—the Shard is the tallest building in London and the European Union, standing 1,020 feet tall, and will contain a mix of residential units, retail, restaurants, office space, and a Shangri-La Hotel branch.
Enough with the mixed-use mumbo-jumbo! As proven before, where there's a spire rising from the mist, there's always a vocal archicritic. Let's have a look at Chakrabortty's 10 best jabs, shall we?
10. "So one of London's most identifiable buildings will have almost nothing to do with the city itself."
9. "The only working-class Londoners will presumably bus in at night from the outskirts to clean the bins. Otherwise, to all intents and purposes, this will be the Tower of the 1%."
8. "So, the Shard: it's expensive. It's off-limits. It's largely owned by people who don't live here. And it is the perfect metaphor for what our capital is becoming."
7. "[I]t proves that buildings are no longer merely premises owned by businesses, but are now chips for investment."
6. "What's more, its owners and occupiers will have very little to do with the area, which for all its centrality is also home to some of the worst deprivation and unemployment in the entire city."
5. "The money men behind the Shard would like the rest of us to treat it merely as a building. Ideally, you'd marvel at its jutting architecture (the work of Renzo Piano, don't you know); failing that, they'd take you castigating its arrogant flashiness."
4. "[B]efore falling for the predictable Shard-en freude, we should think again."
3. "It glowers over your conversations in Peckham; it skulks in your eyeline as you amble along Hampstead Heath."
2. "[I]t merely confirms how far the core of London is becoming, in industrial terms, a one-horse town."
1. "The skyscraper both encapsulates and extends the ways in which London is becoming more unequal and dangerously dependent on hot money."
· The Shard is the perfect metaphor for modern London [The Guardian via Boing Boing]