Foster + Partners have announced plans to construct a stunning tulip-shaped glass skyscraper which will become London's tallest building.
The planned tower will stand 305m (1,000 ft) high and will function solely as a tourist attraction.
Internal slides and transparent pods running outside the building’s ‘stem’ will give visitors a picturesque ride to the top.
Spinning gondola pods fixed to each of the three sides of the bulbous tulip-shaped facade would operate as viewing decks. Inside the 12-storey glass bubble will be a bar and a restaurant offering 360-degree views of the metropolis.
Above: View from the observation deck. Photo credit: Dbox for Foster + Partners
Pending planning permission, construction on the building will start in 2020 with the building set to open in 2025.
The building was designed by Foster + Partners, who also designed the award-winning 30 St. Mary Axe (better known as the ‘Gherkin’) next door. The tulip tower has been designed as a ‘sister’ building to its neighbour.
Plans include a high-tech education space which would be free to visit for 20,000 school children each year.
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The Tulip designed by Foster + Partners. “At 1,000ft (305m) high, it will be the City of London's tallest skyscraper and about 3ft shorter than the Shard, the UK's highest building. It will feature internal slides and moving transparent pods running outside the building for visitors to ride in. The tower will be just a visitor attraction without any office space. Around 20,000 free visits for state school children will be offered each year.” BBC
London’s tallest skyscraper billed as a new landmark
The firm’s Executive Chair Norman Foster said the Tulip “offers significant benefits to Londoners and visitors as a cultural and social landmark with unmatched educational resources for future generations.”
Jacob J. Safra, whose Bury Street Properties company is funding the ambitious project, said: “The Tulip’s elegance and soft strength complements the iconic Gherkin.”
Above: Inside the observation levels. Photo credit: Dbox for Foster + Partners
At the base, a two-storey entrance pavilion with a rooftop garden would stand next to a “pocket park”. Alongside green walls this would increase the green surface area of the site by 8.5 times, Foster + Partners said.
The structure will draw on photovoltaic cells to generate on-site energy, while zero combustion energy will heat and cool the building.
Header image: Dbox for Foster + Partners