Architecture can be transcendent, it can and does utterly transform a view, and if a house is made well it can do a great job of making its inhabitants very happy. Big windows, large rooms and a pleasant colour scheme is almost all a house needs. However, the Shard, London's newest, largest and most overpriced building in the entire city, seems to do none of these things, and yet makes everyone pay through the nose for the displeasure of its presence, the Guardian reports.
To take a trip to the top it'll cost adults £25 ($40) if you book in advance. To buy a flat, you're looking at starting prices of £30m. No, you did not read that wrong. Thirty million pounds for a flat. And why would a person pay so much for a view of London? - One that can be got in a far more enjoyable way from the London Eye, or many other of London's tall buildings? As Rutgers professor Jason Barr says: "One building's views are just as good as the next." The Guardian's Michelle Hanson has the answer: "[T]he one marvellous thing about the view from the top is that you can't see the Shard from there. Hoorah!"
Hanson isn't shy about expressing her feelings about the building, and has described it as "a colossal phallocentric monument, built by the rich-and-greedy, for the other rich-and-greedies." It's difficult to disagree with her really. Despite being built in one of the less advantaged areas of the city, with one in three children entitled to free school meals, it seems a very strange choice to build a monument that is removed entirely from its surroundings, in aesthetics as well as economic vision.
Would you pay those prices? Would you visit the shard even if cost less? Let us know in the comments below.