What it’s like to (illegally) climb London’s tallest building.
When it’s completed next month, the Shard of Glass will be Western Europe’s tallest skyscraper, topping out at 1,017 feet. Even though this shimmering pyramid isn’t open to the public yet, that didn’t stop a group of urban explorers from ascending it and getting a Spider-Man’s-eye-view of the Thames.
The folks at the website Silent UK undertook this harrowing expedition, which required evading security guards and vertigo. Explains the team of the method behind their mania:
We had one unwritten rule, wait until the core reached 72 stories, the final inhabitable floor before the radiator levels. This was for one simple reason, for explorers, the Shard was poorly positioned. It sat uncomfortably close to one of London’s busiest railway stations, only two of its sides were exposed and those were surrounded by a 15ft high fence covered in cameras. This meant without considerable climbing skills and luck, there was only one way in and out. We had one shot, if someone was caught, there was a high chance we would never get in again, so why take that chance early?
After 30 minutes of strenuous climbing, losing an acquaintance to one of the Shard’s nightwatchman, and braving howling winds that shook the building’s crane, the team captured the following shots.