Friday, 18 May 2012

The Shard - the architect was right

Renzo Piano has spoken of his design for the Shard as reflecting the sky, disappearing into the background, and at the top, tapering away to nothingness.

Sceptics pointed out that the glass buildings on London's skyline generally look black - it is the stone ones that look white - and that talk of the visual 'lightness' of glass cladding often turns out to be nonsense when the thing is built.

But now we can see for ourselves and Piano was right - at least in respect of some weather conditions and some hours of the day (this picture was taken yesterday evening, from Centrepoint).

A lot of discussion about how realistic or reliable computer-generated images are misses the simple point that buildings, particularly glassy buildings, vary very greatly in their appearance at different times of day and different times of year.  The honest answer to the criticism that 'it won't look like that really' is 'sometimes it will, sometimes it won't'.

Piano always acknowledged this, saying that the Shard would change with the weather and that that would be part of its appeal.

1 comment:

  1. The computer-generated images and the companies that produce them are become more sophisticated and more powerful in the design process; being brought in earlier in the process not just for marketing purposes.
    I think that the impression of the crown of the building would have been very different if the original design of the glazing had extended beyond the final slab level. The decision to produce a steel framed crown was the correct one.