London’s Shard skyscraper is set to join the ranks of the city’s most iconic modern buildings.
Once completed, at 310 metres, it will become the tallest building in Western Europe. Described as a ‘vertical city of high-quality offices, world-renowned restaurants, the 5-star Shangri-La hotel, exclusive residential apartments and the capital’s highest viewing gallery offering 360° views’, it is simply an icon in the making.
How is it then that Europe’s most famous to-be-completed building could be broken into? And more importantly, what does this mean for security on everyday architectural projects worldwide?
These are the questions being asked by the global industry, leaving developers of the Shard, Sellar Property Group, defending their security measures after a group of video camera-bearing trespassers broke into the site and reached its summit. They have now posted their dizzying footage across the Internet.
One of the members of the group relayed the experience of sitting on the 95th floor of the skyscraper, which is slated to be completed next month, in what has been described as a shocking and dangerous situation.
“The wind howled, the crane upon which we stood creaked and swayed, London stretching as far as the eye could see,” they write on the Silent UK blog. “We were high, extremely high, actually, we were too high.”
The developers have responded that this is in fact an old event, dating back to 2010, where there was a security breach on New Year’s Eve of that year.
“We believe this is an incident which took place around December 2010,” says a spokesperson for the developer. “The breach was discovered very soon afterwards and security immediately tightened.”
Sellars Property Group has gone on to further protect the building site, stating that they have amped up security efforts since the break-in.
“Today security on the site is tight with 14 night-time security guards on duty continuously who cover all areas, as well as 25 CCTV cameras in operation together with a ground floor level laser alarm system,” states the spokesperson.
However, there have been various other reports that further ‘explorers’ have climbed the monolithic building, firmly drawing into question the security of the building, with some in this industry saying it is simply too large to properly secure.
Security measures worldwide will now be heavily scrutinised with a number of incidents happening on notable architectural icons around the world in the past week.