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Developer Irvine Sellar Dead At 82


Irvine Sellar has died at the age of 82 after a short illness. The London property giant’s career spanned 65 years, but he was best known for the Shard, which completed in 2012.

Sellar was still working on a £775M Paddington Cube office project designed by Shard architect Renzo Piano until shortly before his death Sunday morning, according to the Evening Standard.  

Sellar joined Bisnow at the Shard last month to discuss the South Bank and its remarkable spire. He told the audience that in most cases, a developer finds things he wishes were different in his buildings, but the Shard was an exception. It is absolutely perfect, and Sellar said he would not change a thing.

The Shard, London

The “vertical town” Sellar envisioned towers 1,016 feet over the streets of London, drawing the eye from any point, but it almost did not happen. He bought the property in 1998 when, Sellar said, “they were basically selling body parts.” The gritty environment did not deter him, nor did the Council’s scepticism about the project.  

“It violated every rule,” said Southwark Council’s John Peters at the event. And yet it was so magnetic, so ambitious, that it had to be built.

A spokesperson for Irvine Sellar said: “Irvine will always be remembered for his determination ‘against all odds’ to create and develop The Shard, a building that changed London’s skyline forever.

“The property industry has lost an immense and irreplaceable character whose sheer grit and determination will leave a huge void in a sector known for big characters.”

Sellar’s son James, 43, will now take over the business.