The Shard stands tall over London 欧洲最高建筑——碎片大厦高耸伦敦

Vocabulary: height 同高度相關詞語

Image copyright BBC World Service
Image caption The Shard was designed by an Italian architect, Renzo Piano.

How high is too high? This week the tallest building in Europe was completed in London. The 95-storey, 310m 「Shard」 now soars over the city」s skyline.

The lofty building has been steadily erected on the south bank of the River Thames near London Bridge. Funded by Qatari financiers, the spectacular structure is both loved and reviled.

Standing opposite the domed St. Paul」s Cathedral, The Shard dwarfs the rest of London」s metropolis. Its 11,000 glass panes are uniquely angled so they reflect light and alter the building」s appearance according to the weather.

With capacity for 12,000 people, London」s Shard will contain apartments, a hotel, office space and restaurants. Members of the public will also be able to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view over the capital from the summit. Tickets aren」t cheap though. At £25 (250 yuan), the cost of scaling the tower will be sky-high.

Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano – who originally compared it to a broken shard of glass – the slender tower is seen by some as like a colossal church steeple. But critics suggest it is an elevated eyesore and a blot on the landscape. They argue it is an arrogant landmark that taints the visual integrity of a great city.

Whether liked or loathed, The Shard」s title of Europe」s tallest building will not last long. Once completed, the 332m Mercury City Tower in Moscow, Russia will soon stand tallest.

Gigantic these may be, but both are relatively squat compared to the world」s tallest building: the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. At a staggering height of 829m, this skyscraper really does overlook the rest of the world」s tall buildings.