Series 1 Episode 1
First Broadcast: 12.45AM Tue 8 May 2012

The story of The Shard - the colossal glass skyscraper that has transformed London's skyline.

Built against a backdrop of massive public opposition and one of the worst recessions in history, this feat of architectural engineering in the heart of the capital will stand at over 1000 feet - the tallest tower in Western Europe.

Love it or hate it, The Shard is destined to become one of London's most dominant landmarks. The film lifts the lid on the challenges and achievements of an enormous engineering project in a densely populated area of London.

The demanding construction schedule required builders to add a new floor every seven days, and has used 100,000 tonnes of concrete, 11,468 glass panels, a spire made of 500 tonnes of steel and the UK's tallest crane.

On completion, this 1016 foot 'vertical town' will include office space, the highest residential apartments in the UK, a five-star hotel, restaurants and public viewing galleries.

Its construction is the dream of property developer Irvine Sellar, a former fashion-store owner, who appointed world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, who's famous for landmark buildings including Paris's Pompidou Centre and the home of the New York Times.

Filmed over four years, The Tallest Tower: Building the Shard provides exclusive behind-the-scenes access to this architectural journey, and the story of one man's desire to leave a lasting mark on the capital.

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The Tallest Tower: Building The Shard on Channel4.com

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An examination of the challenges and achievements of building Western Europe's tallest tower in a densely populated part of London