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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

Countdown to Shard opening

22nd January 2013

There are just a few days left until the Shard building in London opens its viewing decks to visitors.

Opening on February 1st, the four special platforms are ideal for visitors enjoying central London hotels to get a unique view of the capital.

The Shard measures 1,016 feet and a high-speed lift is capable of taking people to the viewing platform in around 30 seconds,  where they are rewarded with the ability to see for around 40 miles on a clear day.

Visitors can also make use of special touchscreens that allow people to see real-time views of the capital as well as providing information on all the famous landmarks that can be seen from the building.

Advance tickets for entry to the special decks cost from £24.95 per adult and £18.95 per child and are available from the Shard's website. Opening times for the building are from 9am to 10pm daily. Each ticket is timed for 30 minutes and the last entry is at 8.30pm

The structure is currently the tallest in the EU and is owned by the state of Qatar and the Sellar Property Group. Funding for its construction was provided by the Qatar National Bank and the building was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.

He believes that the Shard will develop into one of London's top attractions and be enjoyed by local residents and visitors.

"For me, the most important thing is, is it going to be loved in London or not? Skyscrapers have to give back to the city more than they get from the city," explained Mr Piano to BBC News.

"I see it as like a giant sail emerging from the river - and so the shape of the Shard was conceived."


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The Montcalm London A Nikko Hotel 34-40 Great Cumberland Place, Top of Park Lane, Marble Arch London, England W1H 7TW
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