Even though the country is still struggling through recession, 2012 has been a bumper year for London with "bigger means better" seeming to be the order of the day. In spring, Europe's tallest skyscraper (the Shard building, designed by Renzo Piano) was officially opened, with a viewing platform that claims to provide visibility for miles outside the centre of the city on a clear day.
It cost £310 million to build, much of that provided by the Qatari investment bank group. Much of the massive skyscrapers work, residential and shopping space remains empty, however. The Shard has both its critics and its champions – some say the Shard is a wonderful symbol of London's continuing financial power – whilst others think that foreign-owned assets do not bode well for the City's economic future. What happens in the future, the Shard is certainly a symbol of change and it’s interesting to compare its cost to other London landmarks that have defined previous eras, such as Wembley Stadium and the London Eye. Each of these structures have seemed extravagant in past times, and their future and purpose unclear. However it's now hard to imagine a London skyline without them.
Infographic by Poker Blog
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