Backed by a billionaire, architects Foster + Partners has had its application for the ‘Tulip’ Tower approved by The City of London Corporation.
Standing next to the Gherkin within Square Mile and scaling 305m, the tulip-shaped skyscraper is now set to be the second tallest building in western Europe.
The application has been approved at the City Corporation’s Planning and Transportation committee meeting following a vote of 18-7 in favour.
Designers say the skyscraper would “bring life” to the capital and subject to the planning approval process, construction on The Tulip could begin in 2020 with completion projected for 2025. The City of London will now submit its resolution to grant planning permission to the office of Sadiq Khan.
In a stark difference to that of neighbouring skyscrapers which offer vast amounts of office space, the proposed latest addition to the capital’s skyline would act as a “new public cultural and tourist attraction” to draw in visitors and schoolchildren to the City.
The development will include a viewing platform with rotating pods, a restaurant and sky bar, cycle parking and shower facilities, a new pocket park at street level, publicly accessible rooftop terrace, and an entire floor dedicated to education facilities during school hours.
It was approved with a number of planning conditions to limit any potential adverse impact to the community. These include off-peak servicing to limit the number of vehicle deliveries at busy times, ticket sale restrictions during peak hours to avoid pedestrian congestion and stringent internal and external security measures.
Planning committee chairman, Chris Hayward, said: “After a lengthy and robust debate, the committee agreed to approve this truly unique visitor attraction. One of my key objectives as chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee has been to enable the continued transformation of the City of London into a place which welcomes members of the public on weekends as during the week. This building has the potential to play an important role in realising our vision of the Square Mile as a vibrant 24/7 city.”
Those behind the bid point to a poll of Londoners, conducted by ComRes, in which two thirds of Londoners (65%) said that The Tulip would be an attractive addition to the London skyline, while 69% believe that the proposed development would have a positive impact on “the City’s attractiveness as a visitor and cultural destination”.
Billionaire Jacob J Safra is the principle backer of the 2,889m sq project, with planning permission submitted in the name of Bury Street Properties.