By JOHN HUTCHINSON
No rest for the wicked: Builders, who are probably working on their highest ever job, help finish off The Shard in Southwark, London
The final piece of the jigsaw was added in place as the Shard building in London was topped off.
It will now take it's place as Europe's tallest inhabited building, standing 310 metres into the London skyline.
A steel spire weighing about 500 tonnes was placed at the top of the building, in Southwark near London Bridge, yesterday.
And, not surprisingly, it needed specific tools to help it into place - specifically the UK's largest crane.
Work on the Shard began in February 2009 and an estimated £450million has been spent on its construction so far.
The building will offer uninterrupted 360-degree views of the capital, stretching for 40 miles in every direction.
Visitors will be able to enjoy the view from an observatory that will be 72 floors up.
Almost done: The final bits are put into place on the Shard skyscraper
Imposing: The Shard dominates the skyline in London, and is now Europe's largest inhabited building
Billed as a ‘vertical city’, it will comprise offices up to floor 28, then three floors of restaurants; a five-star 19-storey hotel of 200 rooms; ten apartments over 12 floors – each seven times larger than a semi-detached house and likely to fetch tens of millions of pounds each; and, finally, the observatory and spire.
Designed by Italian Renzo Piano to resemble an iceberg emerging from the Thames, The Shard has not been without controversy.
English Heritage has expressed fears about the ‘major and detrimental’ impact on views of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and the Palace of Westminster.
Touching the clouds: The Shard reaches its full height of 310m and nears completion taking the iconic landmark building to an equivalent of 95 floors
Big brother: St Paul's Cathedral has been put in the shadows, so to speak, by The Shard
The workers building The Shard come from all over the world, although two-thirds are British.
A fifth are from other EU nations, while Brazil, Albania and Australia are also well represented.
Sellar Property Group says that co-ordination of langauges written on signs - including Romanian, Polish Bulgarian, Russian, Albanian, Lithuanian and Punjabi - has been ‘second to none’.
Australian Tony Veal, 33, a project manager, said: ‘Now my friends come from all over the world.
'Almost every continent is represented here, which makes for some good conversations about past experiences from diverse backgrounds.’
Lithuanian administrator Simona Visinskyte, 23, said: ‘Everything that’s impossible becomes possible in London.’
Check this out! People cross the millennium bridge as the Shard tower is visible in the background
Impressive: The top of The Shard was constructed in Yorkshire, dismantled, and then re-applied onto the live site yesterday
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