London is in a celebratory mood after the Shard made its official debut to a fanfare of lights and lasers. The new structure juts 1,016 feet into the sky, is covered in 11,000 glass panels, and dwarfs every other building in the London skyline. From its uppermost floors, you can gaze out across the Thames and see as far as France, assuming no London fog.
Designed to house a hotel, offices, apartments, and restaurants, the Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe, though still 438 feet short of the Empire State Building and nowhere near the world’s tallest building, the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai. However, London’s latest skyscraper does seem to be the correct shape and size for keeping watch over troublesome Hobbits.