Tulip tower: Plans for City of London’s tallest skyscraper unveiled

Building will be a ‘cultural and social’ attraction, architects say 

Adam Forrest
Monday 19 November 2018 13:27 GMT
Tulip tower: plans for City of London's tallest skyscraper unveiled

A 1,000ft (305m) high skyscraper called “The Tulip” will become the tallest building in the City of London if plans for its construction are approved.

Designed by architects Foster + Partners and proposed for a site next to 30 St Mary Axe (also known as The Gherkin), the structure would be just four metres shorter than The Shard on the south side of London Bridge, officially the highest building in the UK.

Unveiling the plans, the firm said the building is aimed at being a tourist and educational attraction, as well as office space.

A key feature will be the learning facility at the top of the tower, offering 20,000 free places per year for London’s state school children to “bring to life the city’s history and dynamism”. There are also plans internally for glass slides and gondola pod rides.

The developers involved in the planning proposal said construction would begin in 2020 and could be finished by 2025, if permission is granted by the City of London Corporation.

A publicly accessible rooftop garden is also proposed at a revamped St Mary Axe site and the architects have promised a “minimal“ building footprint will be made possible by high-performance glass and integrated photovoltaic cells. Foster + Partners said the building’s eventual weight would be “equivalent to 80 fully loaded Airbus A380s on a footprint that is half the size of a single plane”.

“The Tulip is in the spirit of London as a progressive, forward-thinking city,” said Norman Foster, founder of Foster + Partners.

The Tulip would change the London skyline (DBOX for Foster + Partners)
The Tulip would change the London skyline (DBOX for Foster + Partners) (Foster + Partners)

“It offers significant benefits to Londoners and visitors as a cultural and social landmark with unmatched educational resources for future generations.”

“The Tulip’s elegance and soft strength complements the iconic Gherkin,” said Jacob J Safra of the development partner J Safra Group.

“We are confident in London’s role as a global city and are proud to offer its schoolchildren a state-of-the-art classroom in the sky to appreciate London’s history and dynamism.”

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