With the Shard now almost externally complete, and the finish date set for next week just in time for the 2012 Olympics, the developers have decided to put on a spectacular show for London to celebrate this moment in the buildings history.
To be held on the 5th of July starting at 10pm, the show will feature a network of 12 laser beams, not to mention 30 search lights.
These will send beams out from the Shard to the likes of St Paul's Cathedral or 30 St Mary Axe creating a network of light that will connect some of the most famous landmarks of London. The symbolism of tying the new supertall into the London skyline is obvious.
Adding to the spectacular event will be the London Philharmonic Orchestra who will be playing pieces from Copland's Fanfare of the Common Man, with the climax of the illuminations taking place to the finale of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite.
The official inauguration of the tower will be carried out on the observation deck on the 72nd floor by royalty with Prince Andrew in attendance. The Prince has long served as an ambassador for British trade and industry abroad, and opened other tall buildings in the past as part of this role including the Willis Building in 2008.
Joining Prince Andrew will be the Prime Minister of Qatar. Qatari Diar, the property arm of the sovereign wealth fund of that country has a 90% stake in the Shard.
Mere mortals however will be in for a longer wait to visit the observation deck. Although pre-booking starts on the 6th of July 2012, it won't open for business until 2013.
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