Renzo Piano in the Shard

Renzo Piano: 'The Shard is my dream building'

Renzo Piano's latest design towers over London's skyline – but will the controversial 1,000ft construction come to be known as the Italian architect's finest work? Simon O'Hagan finds out.

GRAND MONUMENT ON MANSU HILL: 'The leader's image must always be placed in the centre of the architectural space,' writes Kim Jong-Il in his treatise On Architecture. 'Architectural space must be composed to ensure that the leader's image dominates all the elements of the space and that all the architectural components throw the leader's image in bold relief. This will help people to look up at the leader's image at all times and inspire them with the pride and consciousness that they are happy in the leader's embrace”

What do North Korea's buildings and landmarks tell us about the totalitarian state?

The country has some of the world's biggest – and most bizarre – buildings and landmarks.

Heads up: The bridge that suspends belief

World's highest and longest valley suspension bridge opens in China

Shard stands tall at full height

London may now boast the tallest skyscraper in Europe thanks to the highest part of The Shard's structure being placed on Friday, but the tower is still by no means complete.

Pedestrians walk near The Shard building at London Bridge

The Shard draws itself up to its full height

Pedestrians walk near The Shard building at London Bridge as the final section of steel was lifted into place on Europe's tallest building yesterday, bringing it to its full height of 310 metres (1,017ft).

Will Dean's Ideas Factory: A social network for buildings isn't as daft as it might sound

As a species, we don't really need any more social networking. But do our buildings?

Dogs Trust, Shrewsbury

Unstoppable! The rise and rise of Britain's green buildings

Innovative design honoured this week – and ministers are taking note

Network Rail will today announce the completion of the new western concourse, the most spectacular part of the five-year programme to restore and improve King’s Cross station. More than 45m passengers a year - travelling through London and to and from destinations as far afield as Newcastle, Edinburgh and York - will benefit from a raft of improvements when it opens to the public on Monday (19th March). The new concourse opens to the public on Monday 19 March 2012.

In pictures: New King's Cross Western Concourse

Next Monday passengers at London’s King’s Cross station will see the fruits of a five-year programme of building works which cost £550 million and includes a brand new Western Concourse.

Urban legend: the Barbican Centre

What will the arts centre of the future look like?

As austerity bites, the temples of culture will have to change, says Nicholas Kenyon

Liverpool city council approves redevelopment plan

A £5.5bn redevelopment plan which threatens to see Liverpool's historic waterfront stripped of its world heritage status has been awarded planning permission by the city council.

The late BBC's John Peel

Trending: Turn left at Peel and upstairs to Schwarzenegger

On Friday, the BBC director-general Mark Thompson revealed that part of Radio 1's new home in Broadcasting House is to be renamed The John Peel Wing.

Liverpool could lose favour if it messes with the Three Graces

For a century, mariners sailing into the Mersey port have been greeted by the majestic Three Graces. The Royal Liver Building and its less famous sisters, the Cunard and Port of Liverpool buildings, have dominated the skyline and earned the waterfront international recognition in the form of Unesco World Heritage Site status, along with the Acropolis, the Pyramids, Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple, the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge and the Great Barrier Reef.

The men's toilet in the 49th story of the headquarters of Commerzbank AG

The ultimate loo with a view

Some might feel that the world's bankers have been metaphorically wazzing on us from a great height for years.

'The cathedral of Middlesex': Great Barn of Harmondsworth has been rescued by English Heritage

'Cathedral' barn is saved

Britain's greatest surviving ancient wooden building, a huge medieval barn dubbed "the Cathedral of Middlesex" by John Betjeman, has been rescued for the nation after years of neglect at the hands of an off-shore property developer who bought it for £1.

A computer-generated image of how the 63-storey Pinnacle tower would look

Arrested development: Super-tower cut down to size

Funding worries and lack of tenants force developer to halt work on 63-storey, £800m office block

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