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The Shard

Architect: Renzo Piano Workshop

Client and Executive Architects: Adamson Associates

Developer: Sellar Property Group

Project completion: 2012


The 306 metre Shard contains commercial, residential and hotel accommodation as well as a public viewing gallery at high level. It integrates with London Bridge Station at concourse level.


David Bonnett Associates (DBA) was appointed to prepare an access statement for the Shard’s Building Control submission. In this role we assessed the provisions made for inclusive design in the general arrangement of car parking, approaches, entrances, common circulation, and the internal layouts that constituted the development’s shell and core.

DBA advised the architects and the client on features essential for statutory approval as well as any on other features that might be necessary to meet emerging standards for inclusive access.


The approach of the designers was to incorporate access as a feature of mainstream design. 
This allowed:


  1. The public to enter, circulate and exit without encountering physical barriers.

  2. Easy access by lifts to the viewing areas and also to the station concourse.

  3. Step free routes to all commercial and public areas with passenger lift access between all storeys.

  4. Easy access for office and retail staff to ancillary facilities, such as staff refreshment facilities.

  5. Convenient accommodation for hotel staff to work and circulate.

  6. A repetitive plan form to facilitate navigation and way finding for the public and occupants at all levels.


The building opened in 2013.  The viewing gallery is already open to all, ahead of the official opening date. DBA was also appointed by Southwark Council to review provisions for accessibility in the streets that serve the entrance to The Shard, parking and setting down arrangements and road crossings.

Shortlisted for the coveted RIBA Sterling Prize 2014
RIBA Best Commercial Building 2014
RIBA National Award 2014
RIBA London Award 2014
Anchor 1
The View from The Shard
Image by Smuconlaw
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Ashmolean Museum
Image by Martin Addison
Ashmolean Museum, London
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