"The Shard" in London: Luxury vehicles perched on a parking system from Aitrach
48 parking spaces created by KLAUS Multiparking in the tallest office and residential building in Western Europe.
The entire world is talking about the largest new project in Western Europe – the monumental skyscraper "The Shard". At a height of 310 meters, this newly opened glass tower dominates the London skyline, soaring over the city streets 95 stories below. The tallest building in Western Europe, this project also represents an impressive feather in the cap of KLAUS Multiparking GmbH. This premium provider of parking solutions, based in Aitrach, Germany, has installed a fully automatic parking system to serve this new 110,000 m² building complex. Guests of the extravagant Shangri-La hotel now have the opportunity to park their luxury vehicles with the simple push of a button.
The Shard has shattered all the records: For the last twelve years, construction has taken place according to the design of internationally renowned Italian architect, Renzo Piano. Featuring 11,000 panes of glass, this office and hotel giant now towering over London's city center is without a doubt the largest glass complex in the world. Visitors to the skyscraper won't just marvel at its record-breaking height, however. A 360-degree observation deck offers a breathtaking view as far as the eye can see – up to 64 kilometers – even during unpleasant weather thanks to a state-of-the-art anti-fog telescope.
With a prestigious mega-project such as this, one thing is certain: Investors would bank only on the most reliable parking system available. This wish was granted by KLAUS Multiparking GmbH, the provider of premium parking solutions from Aitrach. These specialists from southern Germany are one of the world's leading providers of parking systems and always the first choice when planning expertise, solid project development, reliable design and top quality down to the last detail are required – especially when the comfort and convenience of users is at stake.
"The selection process itself lasted over a period of several months," explains Günther Seiderer, managing director of KLAUS Multiparking GmbH. "And of course we couldn't be more proud about coming out in front of all major competitors. It definitely paid off that, together with our team in England, we were able to work so effectively with the other projects groups involved in the Shard project during the three-year bidding phase."
Before awarding the specialists from Aitrach the contract, the investors and those in the Mace Group responsible for implementing the project took the time to learn extensively about the company, including consulting with current customers of KLAUS Multiparking. "This was certainly an advantage for us since we have recently taken part in several projects around London involving our automatic parking systems – all to the complete satisfaction of our clients," says authorized representative and export manager Michael Groneberg. Project planning had begun as early as 2006 for the new parking systems. Three years later, KLAUS Multiparking was awarded the contract. By the beginning of 2013, the MasterVario R3 system from Aitrach was installed and ready for operation. In short, the hard work and dedication of the project team – consisting of staff from design, marketing, sales and service – had paid amazing dividends: Only eleven months were needed to design, manufacture, install and commission the finished system.
It is unfortunate that most visitors to the Shard will not even notice this state-of-the-art system from Germany, however. This is because the 48 parking spaces are reserved for guests of the Shangri-La hotel. Local London politicians had also limited the total number of parking spaces available. "The ongoing goal is to keep the city center of London as free from automobiles as possible, something that those responsible for this project took to heart in this case as well," explains Groneberg. In addition, the six-story MasterVario R3 system from KLAUS Multiparking is well hidden under the ground. An area of only 24 square meters is all that is needed on the ground floor to receive the vehicles. The automobiles are then safely, quickly and fully automatically parked among the six different levels of the MasterVario R3 system. Each level provides four parking spaces on both the left and right for vehicles up to 5.2 meters in length and 2.15 meters in width. The sixth level can take on SUVs with a maximum vehicle height of up to 2 meters, while the other 40 vehicles can be up to 1.6 meters high. An area of only 2,380 m³ and a space of 184 m² is thus needed to accommodate a total of 48 vehicles, which corresponds to a floor space of not even 4 m² per vehicle. In comparison, other parking systems that rely on ramps and driving lanes require over 30 m² per vehicle. The MasterVario R3 from KLAUS Multiparking proves once again that it is an absolute space-saver – and a solution that provides top results when several vehicles must be parked in the smallest possible area.
Safety was another high priority for KLAUS Multiparking during the Shard project. "We had numerous meetings with the Health and Safety project group in London," recalls Groneberg. "I don't think it would be an understatement to say that the extremely stringent requirements during project implementation as well as the safety restrictions themselves are setting new standards."
Being able to contribute to this prestigious project has already paid off in a big way for KLAUS Multiparking GmbH. Managing director Wolfgang Schuckel couldn't be more pleased: "The Shard project is definitely in a league of its own, and our participation has already led to quite a few interesting inquiries for additional projects. Being part of this amazing endeavor in the heart of London reinforces yet again our claim to being the top provider of premium parking solutions."
Interesting facts about this project
The construction of the Shard was challenging from the start, with 200-year-old foundations having to be removed before actual building could even begin. In addition, the tower had to be built directly next to a train station, the "London Bridge" Underground station and a hospital, all without causing obstructions.
Situated in the Southwark district, the 95 floors that make up the Shard have something for everyone: a 360° viewing platform at the topmost levels, ten lavish apartments, the Shangri-La luxury hotel, restaurants, offices housing the PricewaterhouseCoopers consulting firm and a shopping center on the ground floor.
The viewing platform on the 59th floor has been open since February, delighting 5,000 visitors daily (tickets start at 24.95 pounds for adults and 18.95 pounds for children).
With this attraction, which truly redefines the London skyline, investors hope to revitalize the entire district and help put it back on a trajectory to success. Until recently, the district had failed to generate much interest, despite the fact that William Shakespeare had once lived here.
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