London's Shard, Britain's new tallest building - revisiting The Skyscraper Curse

I wanted to mention London's Shard for quite some time already, as part of debunking UK's bubble economy, but I never had the time to... until today. The DailyMail is actually running a report about it today, so I'll take the opportunity to write the post I wanted to do.
[...] The Shard - Britain's tallest skyscraper - is shaping up to be something spectacular.
The 87-floor tower will have 44 lifts and will be topped by a four-floor viewing gallery that will be open to the public.

But yesterday the businessman behind the mammoth London tower - currently 72-floors high - said 'it's not all about height', and revealed how the building was first sketched on the back of a menu. 
Speaking from the 24th floor of the Shard - which when completed will be the highest in western Europe - Irvine Sellar said his building would be known for more than its altitude.
Mr Sellar, who is chairman of the Sellar Group, said: 'It's not an ego thing. We're not the tallest building in the world by a long way, but we are the best-looking in Europe.
The Shard, which last month outstripped Canary Wharf's One Canada Square to become the tallest building in the UK, is the highest-profile part of a broader plan for a £2 billion redevelopment of the area around London Bridge Station.
Fast backward to early 2006 now:
Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- [...] it's time to revisit thatever intriguing economic indicator: the Skyscraper Curse.

As this columnist has pointed out periodically, there’s an uncanny, if unscientific, correlation between financial crises and efforts to build the world’s tallest building. Look no further than Kuala Lumpur in 1997, Chicago in 1974, New York in 1930 and in biblical times with the Tower of Babel.

The human propensity for architectural overreach has been a surprisingly reliable omen. It’s not a stretch to think of such projects as visual punctuation marks. A giant billboard made of steel, glass, concrete and money. A common thread between skyscrapers and economic disasters has to be easy credit, which fuels irrational growth, valuations, and hubris.
So we've been talking a lot about the collapse of the UK real estate bubble and more generally speaking bubble economy based almost entirely on the real estate and financial sectors. Maybe that time has come.

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