Renzo Piano - The Shard
Razia Iqbal talks to the architect of The Shard at the headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London.
A one thousand foot tall pyramid of glass now stands in splendid isolation on the south bank of the Thames.
It is a striking and controversial addition to the London skyline, constantly changing in appearance as it reflects the weather; either melting into the heavens or rudely imposing itself on the British capital, depending upon your point of view.
What is not in contention is that The Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe and an audacious achievement, representing a pinnacle in the dazzling career of its architect Renzo Piano.
BBC World Service and RIBA came together to mark the topping out of The Shard with a special event with Piano, recipient of the RIBA Gold Medal for Architecture in 1989 and more recently the AIA (American Institute of Architects) Gold Medal 2008.
The architect talks to Razia Iqbal about The Shard's origins on a restaurant napkin, the complexities of building such an enormous structure so close to a river and what architecture has to do with our hopes for civilisation. Piano also takes a series of questions from the audience.
(Image: Italian architect Renzo Piano speaking at event. Credit: Mark Allan)