It's always been all about the words for me, but today I was struck by how great design can make life easier. I was fortunate in being given a tour of some of the hidden areas of The Shard in what used to be a very seedy part of London's south bank.
I was interviewing some of the team who make the building function, as well as some of the outsiders who help them do that, what I found was an eye opener in terms of building design which, while probably not perfect if you work there every day, came pretty close as a visitor.
There's one entrance and a set of lifts for the offices. A complete separate way in for the viewing platforms, another for the hotel, for the restaurants and, presumably, for the very swanky apartments. What it means is that there's no mixing of tourists, diners and workers. There's a sense of busyness without chaos. Being right on of op of London Bridge station - itself in the process of renovation - the transport links are good and on a beautiful day like today it has so much to offer without feeling like a mish-mash of uses.
I've never liked design driving my work, but I guess sometimes, design does win hands down.
(I now intend to judge any potential suitors by their approach to The Shard. The perfect first date for me now would be afternoon tea in Aqua. Looking out over the river. No doubt it's not cheap but then, at least the view will be worth it.)
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