Tulip-Shaped Tower, London

Foster + Partners Plan a Tulip-Shaped Tower for Central London


Foster + Partners have unveiled details of their latest proposed tower for the City of London. “The Tulip” seeks to become a “new public cultural attraction” sitting adjacent to The Gherkin: one of Foster’s and London’s most iconic structures.

The 305-meter-high, bud-like scheme, named after its nature-inspired form, will offer an education facility operated by building owners J. Safra Group. The program, with 20,000 free places per year for London’s state school children, will feature “unparalleled vantage point to view London from a height of around 300 meters.”

The purpose-designed visitor attraction features a new two-story entrance pavilion to enhance the existing active ground level of The Gherkin, complete with a public roof terrace, retail, and 284 bicycle spaces. A new pocket park will sit alongside the pavilion, increasing the site’s green surface area by 8.5 times with the help of two green walls.

300 meters up, viewing galleries will offer visitors an engaging experience with sky bridges, internal glass slides, and gondola pod rides on the building façade, while a sky bar and restaurants will offer 360-degree views of the city. Visitors will also benefit from “interactive materials and briefings from expert guides about the history of London.”

“Continuing the pioneering design of 30 St Mary Axe, the Tulip is in the spirit of London as a progressive, forward-thinking city. It offers significant benefits to Londoners and visitors as a cultural and social landmark with unmatched educational resources for future generations.

-Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners”

The scheme will be constructed of a high-strength concrete shaft with steel-framed observation deck levels, and high-performance glazing throughout. The Tulip is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating, with environmental features such as an additional 130 square meters of plaza space, two green walls, and system technologies offering 42% carbon savings, 48% water reduced through 100% recycled water for irrigation, and 284 cycle parking spaces.

A planning application for The Tulip was been submitted. If granted, construction could begin in 2020, for a 2025 completion date.

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