The Shard

25 Nov, 2020
Edward Roberts

Securing the Shard

The Shard of Glass is one of Europe’s tallest buildings standing 307m high (1016ft). The iconic building has been embraced as part of London’s skyline, housing the glamorous, Shangri-La Hotel and spa. The 72 floors which make up the Shard building are a mixture of commercial and residential use.

The surrounding areas of London Bridge were regenerated alongside the construction of the Shard. London Bridge Quarter was constructed which provides a new commercial district.

An upper concourse next to the Shard was designed and built to accommodate a new bus terminal and an alternative approach to London Bridge Station. All of these critical national infrastructure buildings required a physical security design and products to achieve different objectives.

The Challenge

To create a ‘ring of steel’ around this internationally renowned building, paying particular attention to product aesthetics. Protect the surrounding areas including the major transportation hubs from vehicular attack.

Three main areas surrounding the iconic Shard building needed a comprehensive, physical security design. The upper concourse leading to London Bridge Place including the major transportation hubs, Joiner Street which is the road directly underneath the Shard and the front of the Shangri-La Hotel, St. Thomas Street.

London Bridge Place

To secure the entrance to the train station shallow foundation bollards were chosen. The upper concourse is built on a suspended slab and so traditional depth bollards were unable to be installed within this particular area.

Shallow foundation bollards are also very quick to install and so the disruption caused by installing such a product would be minimal, limiting inconvenience for transport companies, businesses and commuters.

Approximately 20 shallow foundation units can be installed overnight and site surfaces reinstated by the next morning.

To protect pedestrians from a busy bus depot, handrails were integrated into the high-security bollards. Slim and shallow bollards were installed to line the pavement directly outside the bus depot to protect pedestrians from taxis and double-decker buses.

All the bollards were fitted with the same aesthetic sleeve for continuity.

Joiner Street

This particular street needed physical security measures as the street gives access to both the hotel and the upper concourse leading to London Bridge Place.

Authorised vehicle access needed to be planned to allow delivery vehicles to access the street and also provide access for the emergency services.

With minimal depth available to install traditional foundation, automatic, high-security bollards – ATG’s shallow foundation automatic bollard was chosen which required just 900mm of depth. 

To meet the strict aesthetic requirements of the site, the product needed to be supplied in bead-blasted stainless steel.

St. Thomas Street

Architecturally the bollards protecting the Shard along St. Thomas Street are identical to the bollards installed around London Bridge Place and the surrounding concourse.

Shallow foundation bollards were installed to create a ‘ring of steel’ around the infrastructure. Automatic bollards were also installed to allow authorised vehicle access to the street.

Flagpoles were integrated into the shallow foundation bollards installed directly outside the Shard’s reception entrance. This avoided a break in the high-security perimeter line whilst still maintaining the aesthetic needs of the hotel.

Project Summary

The entire London Bridge Place complex, transport links and the Shard itself all benefited from architecturally sympathetic security measures.

The Shard and surrounding area now have a holistic, high-security design and installation which protects the urban area against an attack and accidental vehicle impact.

Vehicle access has been designed where needed making sure that the security measures chosen work well with daily operational requirements.

The actual installation of the security measures caused minimum disruption due to the use of shallow foundation products. These products require very little surface excavation (176 mm) and can be set and fitted quickly and effectively.

The entire urban area is completed with all bollards having identical, aesthetic sleeves ensuring that the products are uniform and meet strict architectural requirements.

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