Some people seem immune to the frailties that life throws at us. At 82, Irvine Sellar was one, and so it was with shock that the news of his passing spread in late February. To spend most of his 70s raising finance for and then building The Shard is remarkable enough, but his entire biography is an intriguing account of entrepreneurial spirit.
Having purchased the site of The Shard in 1998, Irvine stuck with his vision through all kinds of challenges, and in the process become the biggest catalyst for change in the London Bridge area. Work to clear the site and build The Shard started in 2008 and the UK’s tallest building opened in 2012. It is fitting that The Shard will be celebrating its five-year anniversary this summer as it will offer the opportunity to reflect on Sellar’s drive and dedication to creating his vertical city.
Having made his mark in Carnaby Street and changed the dynamics of fashion retail in the UK, Irvine Sellar left his most notable professional achievement until last. The Shard is not only London’s tallest, most recognisable modern building, but as part of The London Bridge Quarter it has become a symbol of progress and dynamism for the whole area. Today over 50 businesses now call The London Bridge Quarter home, employing in the region of 12,000 people.
Sellar Property continue in this vein as their Fielden House development beside London Bridge Station starts to rise in the coming weeks, providing Irvine with a legacy that continues to shape the way that London looks and evolves.