Architecture Family & friends

Taking Emma up the Shard

Yesterday was Emma’s Birthday. Whilst I’m rubbish at buying presents except from the pre-prepared list she gives me, I did want to have one small element of surprise. So I booked a couple of tickets for the viewing platform at the Shard and got out of work early. Of course as soon as I said “Meet me at London Bridge” she knew what was going on.

Surprisingly good.

We both used to work at London Bridge and got a bit of a shock without that dark old roof in place. Lots of light, lots of construction work still ongoing but still on its way to being completely transformed. I’ve taken loads of pictures of the Shard from Peckham so it was nice to go and see it up close and personal. Having been up the Empire State in New York and had a hellish time we were both pleasantly surprised about how nice the experience of going up there was.

Observation deck
Birthday girl

There was plenty of space, you could get to see the view easily and it was nicely detailed for the inspecting architect to visit. I was actually really impressed with it all. You arrive into a large enclosed space and then are able to go one level up to a more open section. At that point you’re actually right up against some of the shardy bits which is pretty amazing.

At the actual shardy bit
Colourful people

It’s amazing seeing the city beneath you, especially when you’re able to see deep into the street pattern of areas you’ve walked and cycled around for years and years. The way the railway cuts through the city is also quite incredible.

Transport connections

Following that we wandered into Borough Market to have a few drinks at The Rake. It’s been a while since we drank there and again Borough Market has changed so much. Still the beer and company was good and I managed to get this wonderful photo of Emma.

Will you stop taking my fucking picture

That was then followed by birthday dinner at the Dragon Castle at Elephant and Castle. Happy Birthday Emma!

Canopy & Shard