For 18 years, London's Canary Wharf, otherwise known as One Canada Square, has been Britain's tallest building.

But now it has lost that record to the Shard London Bridge (aka 32 London Bridge, Shard of Glass and The Shard), which has topped Canary Wharf's 770ft - and it's going to get bigger.

Construction on the Shard, in Southwark, central London, on the south bank of the Thames, is still underway - it began in March 2009 - and when it's completed in 2012, the year of the London Summer Olympics, it will be 1,017ft tall, making it the tallest skyscraper in the EU. By March this year the Shard was ground by around 9ft a day.

It will not be the biggest in the whole of Europe as Moscow's Mercury City Tower will reach 1,247ft. However, the Shard, so named because it resembles a shard of glass, was to be 1,450 ft tall had not the Civil Aviation Authority imposed a limit.

The £1.4bn tower will have 44 lifts and will be topped by a four-floor viewing gallery that will be open to the public. It is situated in close proximity to Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast.

It is the highest-profile part of a broader plan for a £2 billion redevelopment of the area around London Bridge Station and a new public concourse and a piazza will be complete by 2013 which will link the building to the station.

The construction of the Shard means that Britain's tallest skyscraper will soon be taller than Canada's tallest skyscraper, which is the 978ft First Canadian Place.

The Shard tops Canary Wharf to become Britain's tallest building

By Daily Mail Reporter
25th November 2010
Daily Mail

How the Shard, the EU's tallest skyscraper, in the EU's largest city, will look

For 18 years it was Britain's tallest building and a beacon of London's business community.

Now though, One Canada Square, or Canary Wharf tower, has fallen into second place, behind the Shard London Bridge.

Still under construction the Shard's concrete core has topped Canary Wharf's 770 feet - and is going to get much bigger.

Towering over London: The Shard has taken the crown as Britain's tallest building, beating Canary Wharf's 770 feet - and is set to grow to over 1000

Spectacular: The Shard is the latest addition to the London skyline

By the time it is due to be finished in 2012, the building will tower 1,017 feet into the sky and be the biggest building in the European Union.

However it will not be the biggest in Europe as Moscow's Mercury City Tower will reach 1,247ft.

The Shard was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, who was also responsible for Paris's Pompidou centre.

The pyramid-like structure is meant to resemble a flake of glass and be a small vertical city.

Spread over 72 floors it will contain nearly 600,000 square feet of office space, residential apartments, Europe’s first five-star rated Shangri-La Hotel, retail space, and restaurants.

The Shard will have 72 floors and contain offices, residential space and a hotel. It will also have a viewing area on the top floor

It will also be topped by a huge public viewing gallery providing views across the city while there will be gardens integrated into the structure.

The entrance will also benefit from direct access to London Bridge rail station and the Underground's Jubilee and Northern lines.

Mr Piano has also implemented a sophisticated type of glazing that will changed in accordance with the weather and seasons.

The building was the brainchild of Irvine Sellar, who owns the Sellar Property Group, and was approved by John Prescott in 2003.

Constuction began in March 2009, with five special cranes growing alongside to help with the works and by March 2010 the building was growing in size by three metres per day.

Overtaken: Canary Wharf tower has lost its title as Britain's tallest building after 18 years

Last edited by Blackleaf; Dec 12th, 2010 at 01:44 PM..