The View from the Shard
Aside from the Olympic Park, The Shard - the tallest building in Western Europe - has been one of the most talked-about launches in London in 2012. Love it or hate it, there is no doubt that The View from the Shard, a new visitor attraction and event venue at the top of the building, will provide one of the best vantage points across the capital when it opens in February 2013. The View from the Shard will take groups from street level up 244m (800ft) in two high-speed lifts that take just 30 seconds to reach Level 68. From here, visitors will head up to Level 69, a triple-height space that claims to offer a 40-mile view and will be available for corporate hire. Also of interest to event planners will be the 195-room luxury Shangri-La hotel, which will occupy floors 34 to 54 and offer a range of meeting and event facilities.
Occupying an enviable location in the Olympic Park, the Orbit is the UK's tallest sculpture, standing 21m higher than the Statue of Liberty. The dramatic 114m steel looping lattice sculpture sits between the Stadium and the Aquatics Centre, and is set to become a visitor attraction in its own right. Designed by artist Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, its two glass-enclosed viewing platforms overlook the park and London skyline, and accommodate up to 300 people. They can be used for launch events or drinks receptions. Haymarket Network hosted the first private function at the Orbit earlier this year, with brands including BP, BMW, BT, Cadbury and Lloyds TSB in attendance. The sculpture will be available for corporate hire from spring 2014.
It might be 30-odd floors shy of The Shard, but Sushi Samba, which opened at the top of Heron Tower in July, claims the highest outdoor terraces in the capital. The restaurant offers a unique blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine, alongside stunning views. Accessed via two scenic elevators from Bishopsgate, it has a bar and lounge, and is available for corporate hire. The 38th floor restaurant and terraces will cater for 160 seated and 220 standing, with each terrace holding 70 standing, while the 39th floor mezzanine lounge and bar will hold 120 for a reception. It will be suitable for a range of events from corporate dinners, receptions and parties to tastings and sushi classes.