Pictures: The View from The Shard officially opened
10:40 01 February 2013
London Mayor Boris Johnson has officially opened the Shard’s observation deck to the public - and one couple has already got engaged on the attraction.
James Episcopou, 22 from Essex, proposed to girlfriend Laura Taylor, 22 from Essex, on the opening day of The View from The Shard.
Mr Johnson cut a ribbon just over 244m above the capital to welcome visitors to the highest vantage point in western Europe.
He said: “This stunning new visitor attraction is a fantastic addition to London’s tourist offer.
“From these dizzy heights the greatest city on earth, from historic to modern, is spread out below in all its magnificent glory and visitors will be mesmerised by this experience.
“I am confident that The Shard and the huge London Bridge Quarter development will change the face of this important part of our city attracting new businesses and creating thousands of jobs in the coming years.”
He was joined on level 72 of London’s tallest building by its architect, Renzo Piano, for the opening of the attraction.
Mr Piano said: “This building is magic for a number of reasons.
“First, because it’s in London, second, because it’s so tall, and third, because this building is a part of London. It’s a sense of London.
“It’s sad when London is sad, it’s joyful when London is brilliant and joyful.”
Irvine Sellar, chairman of Sellar Property and developer of The Shard, said: “The Shard has been designed to be a building in the heart of London that is open to all to visit and enjoy and The View from The Shard is a fundamental part of this.
“There is no doubt that The View from The Shard will be one of the leading attractions in London, complemented by the restaurants – Aqua and Oblix - bars and the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, which will all open later this year.
“It is an integral part of our vision that The Shard and London Bridge Quarter will form a unique and inclusive area at the heart of a community that has a long history and huge potential for growth.”
The opening of The View from The Shard was preceded by an opening party last night attended by guests including Pixie Lott, Simon Callow, Example, Annie Mac, Alex Zane, Michel Roux Jr and Terry Wogan.
More than 130,000 tickets to The View from The Shard have already been sold, with Valentine’s Day being particularly popular.