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The Shard is a 72 storey skyscraper, and one of Europe’s tallest buildings. Standing 307m high (1016ft) the iconic building is a prominent fixture of London’s skyline.
The site houses several world-class restaurants, the glamorous Shangri-La Hotel, as well as a number of residential and commercial properties, a viewing gallery, and an open-air observation deck with views across The City.
Following the Shard’s construction, the surrounding areas of London Bridge were regenerated as The Shard Quarter.
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.
ATG Access were tasked with building a ‘ring of steel’ around this internationally renowned building, paying particular attention to product aesthetics. The project also involved protecting the surrounding areas, which included major transportation hubs, from potential vehicular attacks.
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.
Securing 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.
Securing 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 emergency services.
With minimal depth available to install automatic, high-security bollards with traditional foundations, ATG’s shallow foundation automatic bollards were chosen, which require just 900mm of depth.
To meet the strict aesthetic requirements of the site, the product needed to be supplied in bead-blasted stainless steel.
Securing 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.
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.