By 2012 London’s skyline will have been transformed. Since the Second World War a city of church spires dominated by the dome of St. Pauls has slowly given way to taller buildings. By 2012 both the Gherkin and Tower 42 will be topped by the Heron Tower (or the Walkie Talkie) at 202 metres tall, the Bishopsgate Tower (or the Cheese Grater) at 235m and the Pinnacle (or the Helter Skelter building) at 288m. And all of these will be dwarfed by the London Bridge Tower (or the Shard) at 310m or 72 floors.
This will make the Shard the tallest bulding in the EU when it overtakes the Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt, Germany (at 259m). It will not be the tallest building in Europe, however. That title will go to the 380m high Mercury City Tower in Moscow, to be completed next year. And by 2016 the Federation Tower East in Moscow will reach 506m.
From the Economist, Friday 3 December 2010