Weekly Photo Challenge (The World Through My Eyes) A Rant About the Shard

If Mrs Carmichael could draw, design and manage the simplest mathematical problem she might, just might have been an architect.

I love good design and disagree vehemently with Prince Charles who views all things modern as ‘carbuncles’. Thank goodness he has a couple of hundred old houses/palaces/castles to live in then.

Any hoo, back to me and my love of new architecture.

London now boasts some amazing modern structures: lloyds; the Gherkin; City Hall to name but three.

But there is one that forces me to agree with Chaz. The Shard is the carbuncle of all carbuncles and punctures the London skyline with vicious and unkindly intent.

Shard softened by reflection (mrscarmichael)
Shard softened by reflection (mrscarmichael)

Here it is again.

stick this where the sun don't shine (mrsca
stick this where the sun don’t shine (mrscarmichael)

Through my eyes this is one ugly mother of an edifice and does nothing to make England’s capital city better, bigger, grander. To me it says;

“Here I am. Hark at me. I am rich and you are less so. ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works ye mighty and despair.'”

The business men from Qatar who own this white elephant are struggling to fill both the office space (apparently the wrong shape for offices) and the floors allocated to £50,000,000 apartments too. At night it stands dark and unloved, save the extortionately priced viewing gallery and restaurant at the summit.

But to my mind it’s worse than this. I understand the Shard is the only structure to break St Paul’s wonderful sight lines which have been preserved for many a long year.

Blitz surviver (mrscarmichael)
Blitz surviver (mrscarmichael)

From Richmond, Primrose Hill, Greenwich, Blackheath and more Londoners should be able to see St Paul’s Cathedral in all its majestic (yes, Prince C, I agree with you on this landmark) glory.

And we have allowed a line to be broken. Shame on us.

I’ll let the prescient Percy Bysshe have the final word. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

‘Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’


39 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge (The World Through My Eyes) A Rant About the Shard

  1. Great pictures. I agree. I can’t get used to seeing it in the skyline and I wouldn’t like to live up there. My husband, however, is a great fan and loves to impart interesting facts about it!

    1. Tell him about the broken sight line. It must be either Greenwich or Black Heath I guess. But for St Paul’s to loose some of her power I wish it had been for a better building.
      Maybe it’s a man’s typa’ structure 🙂

  2. Another phallic building, and one to intrude into the sphere of the dome-(breast-like) structure of a wonderful old church. I can see the beauty, even of the shard – but you are right, Mrs. Carmichael – it should have been built elsewhere. This is a case for sexual harrassement 😉

  3. Ha ha! Only an Australian or a New Zealander would call HRH Chaz. I love it! I was thinking we could go up the top in September, but it sounds as if it’s quite costly. I suppose the view isn’t going to be any different than from any of the other buildings, just a lot higher up. I really want to do the Eye at sunset this time.

    1. OMG I’ll come up the Shard with you in September – sunset has to be the time. But it mustn’t be raining – arrgh. I get sea sick on the eye! Embarrassing or what? What dates are you here?

      1. Arrgh I’m in Mallorca till I think the 6th – late. If you book, and I think you will need to, let me know and I will try to come in as a singleton and buy you a drink afterwards -I mean it. T’would be fun.

  4. It’s easy to see and understand your vision and intent for these photos. I couldn’t agree more. And yes “the world controls us, not the other way around”, but a few humans spoil the process. Thank you for dropping by my place.

  5. I totally agree with you Mrs. C. Love your photo’s though and especially the first one where you “softened” it a bit. Great entry for the challenge hon. 😀 *hugs*

  6. High for high’s sake? (and to make money, naturally) I haven’t seen it in completion, but I did so like the view down from the Greenwich observatory before. 🙂

  7. What a clever coupling of the newest and the antique!
    Qatar meets Shelley/Ozymandias. It may take a while, but the lone and level sands will always win in the end.
    (One of my favorite poems, thanks for the pleasure of hearing it again and in such a clever context.)

    1. Ahh thanks. Isn’t it nice when a perfect poem pops up. Interestingly no one else has commented but with these photo challenges I don’t think half the ‘likes’ have even opened the post. Moan oven. thanks for reading.

  8. I saw this building on a panoramic view of London on TV last night and thought ‘Yikes what is that!” Then I remembered your post!

    Seems like it would fit in better with the style of architecture in Dallas or Dubai.

  9. Think I might be with you on this, but will have to investigate empirically when I’m in London in a few weeks.

    1. My hatred of the Shard does not include going up it which I have suggested to the Eternal Traveller we do together!! see above.
      It’s not cheap but I think would be impressive.
      Not sure when you’re here (know it’s Sept)
      Also, London’s 2013 Open Day is the weekend of the 12st/22nd Sept when hundreds of buildings are open to the public, including private houses.

      1. Quite like the idea of going to the top. Would also love to check out the open days, but I’ll be in the North East that weekend 😦

      2. Arrive UK 10th Sept. leave 28th. In Northampton visiting mother for a bit of that time, plus week or so in Scotland/North East and only a few days in London. Being very focused on family history research, art galleries, visiting friends and interesting relatives (only a few of those) and celebrating mother’s birthday. Would have liked a much longer trip, but it had to be sandwiched between partner’s work travel and son’s A Levels.

      3. Thanks. I intend to enjoy every minute of it. To that end I have broken the habit of a fairly long lifetime and actually planned what I’m going to do with my time. I’ve taken advice from a friend who’s an expert at guerrilla travel and not only done the research, but actually documented it so I don’t have to remember the opening hours of museums, or which cafe in Lower Thingamebob gets rave reviews. I arrive back in NZ at the beginning of school hols, so at least won’t have to do early morning school lunch thing for the first couple of weeks back.

      4. perfect! Get some Melatonin if you can – really helps with the jet lag. Sold in Australia, the States probably Asia and on prescription (i think) in NZ.
        Such a good idea what you’re done btw – pre-preperation.

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