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This Tulip-Shaped Skyscraper Could be Built in London

FOSTER + Partners and developer J. Safra Group are seeking planning permission for “The Tulip” - a 305.3 metre (1,000 foot) tall observation tower adjacent to 30 St Mary Axe, in the City of London. 

Since the completion of the Foster + Partners-designed 30 St Mary Axe (also known as The Gherkin) in 2004, London's skyline has undergone a radical transformation with numerous new high-rise buildings now obscuring the 180 metre (591 foot) glass tower.

Above: The Tulip would rise close to 30 St Mary Axe in the city of London (image courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners).

Concurrently, the City of London is striving to become a more attractive, 7-day-a-week destination. The Gherkin's new owners, J. Safra Group, are proposing the Tulip as a new destination for visitors and locals alike.

Above: An education facility in The Tulip could cater to 20,000 local school children annually (image courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners). 

If built, The Tulip would become the tallest structure in the City.

It would offer a range of facilities, including an educational space for some 20,000 pupils a year, a number of restaurants, skywalks and glazed gondolas that orbit the side of the tower.

Above: Gondolas on side of the structure would offer more panoramic views of London (image courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners).

The Tulip's "stem" would be 14.3 metres (47 feet) in diameter while its widest floor would measure 24.5 metres (112 feet) across.

The main structure would be built from concrete, while high-performance glazing set within steel and aluminium frames would form the facade of the viewing decks.

Above: The Tulip aims to bring more tourists to the City outside of office hours (image courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners).

On the ground floor, the architects have designed a small pocket park and two green walls. The building as a whole would aim for a BREEAM Excellent certification.

Above: The proposal has reignited the debate about London's skyline (image courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners).

The proposal has sparked lively debate, with a number of commentators questioning the need for such a novelty structure and commenting on its unique shape.

Others agree that such an attraction is necessary to transform the City into a popular destination and cement its reputation for innovation. 


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