domingo, 26 de agosto de 2012

The Shard

In early July the Shard in London opened, right in time for the Olympics.

Self-study activity:
Watch this Associated Press video and answer the questions below. The activity is suitable for strong Básico 2 and Intermediate 1 students.

What do the following figures refer to?
one and a half

Watch the video again. Answer these questions.
1 What does the first girl compare the Shard to?
2 How does the second girl feel when she looks at the Shard?
3 What two adjectives does the man use to describe the Shard?
4 Why has the construction of the Shard been criticised?
5 How long will the Shard be the longest building in Europe?

1016 feet tall; that's nearly 310 metres; 11,000 glass panels; one and a half billion pounds is the cost of the building; that's the equivalent of more than two billion dollars.

1 a Christmas tree; 2 she feels dizzy; 3 fantastic and great; 4 it has cost too much money in recession times; 5 until the end of the year.

You can read the transcript below.

A laser show wrapped up the official opening of Europe's tallest building, the Shard in London, 1016 feet tall, that's nearly 310 metres. It dwarfs the rest of the city skyline, including the relatively new skyscrapers in the Canary Wharf financial district. But its structure is still graceful. With its 11,000 glass panels it resembles a giant sliver.
"It was clear enough that this building was not going to be a symbol of arrogance, a symbol of power, but more like a sparkling, quite gentle spire, playing, flirting with the weather."
Still, the structure gets mixed reviews from people in the street:
"When I first saw it, I thought it was a Christmas tree to be honest. It looks a bit like a Christmas tree, so.”
"It makes me feel sick, when I look up at it, it makes me feel dizzy."
"I actually think it's a phenomenal looking building, you know, made out of glass, I just think it's fantastic, I love looking at it. I've seen it from the outset, from the start, when it started to be built, and now this is the first time I've seen it almost completed, and I think it's great, I love it, I think it's a real landmark for London."
Even so, spending one and a half billion pounds, the equivalent of more than two billion dollars, on a structure in the teeth of a recession has got to be a big gamble. But with a solid Qatari investor behind him, the developer believes the mix of apartments, offices, restaurants and a hotel will prove to be a success...
"No, we're not nervous. We are confident. We're confident we've got very strong financial backers, who have provided long-term funding."
Successful or not, the building has made a permanent change to the London landscape, even if it won't be the continent's tallest for long. Russia's Mercury City Tower is expected to eclipse the Shard before the end of the year.