Reaching more than a thousand feet into the air, The Shard was hailed as one of the wonders of the age when it was completed. Yet Britain’s tallest building is almost entirely empty, as its owners struggle to find buyers and tenants for its offices and luxury flats. As our picture shows, London’s 72-storey skyscraper is largely dark in the early evening, while the surrounding buildings are bright with office lights.
Almost a year after it opened at a cost of £500 million, the building’s only occupants are a restaurant on the 32nd floor and a viewing gallery on the upper five floors, which offers visitors stunning views of the capital for £25. Not a single office in the 26 floors devoted to business use has been rented.
High rents and economic stagnation have been blamed for the slow take-up – but other experts believe the problem is more fundamental: location, location, location.