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Foster + Partners releases images for soft bud-like observation tower in London

United Kingdom Architecture News - Nov 19, 2018 - 06:43   15110 views

Foster + Partners releases images for soft bud-like observation tower in London

Foster + Partners has released images for a soft bud-like tourist observation tower at a site next to 30 St Mary Axe, also known as The Gherkin in London. 

Dubbed as The Tulip, the tower is designed as a new public cultural and tourist attraction proposed for the City of London, as the firm has recently submitted its application plans to the Council for planning permission.

The 305,3-metre tower is designed for the J. Safra Group, who is a privately owned banks company under the Safra name and investment holdings in asset based business sectors such as real estate and agribusiness.

Foster + Partners releases images for soft bud-like observation tower in London

If the plans are approved by the Council, construction work on The Tulip is planned to start in 2020 and will be completed for 2025. If completed, Foster + Partners' observation tower will be the tallest in the city of London.

Deriving its name from its nature-inspired form, The Tulip will enhance The Gherkin, one of London’s most cherished and recognisable buildings and offer a new state-of-the-art cultural and educational resource for Londoners and tourists.

Foster + Partners releases images for soft bud-like observation tower in London

The Tulip will provide a unique visitor experience for Londoners. The tower seeks to provide an unparalleled vantage point to view London from a height of around 300 metres. The viewing galleries will offer visitors an engaging experience with sky bridges, internal glass slides and gondola pod rides on the building’s façade that will appeal to people across all age groups. 

Foster + Partners releases images for soft bud-like observation tower in London

Visitors will benefit from interactive materials and briefings from expert guides about the history of London. Complementing the experience will be a sky bar and restaurants with 360-degree views of the city.

Foster + Partners releases images for soft bud-like observation tower in London

"Continuing the pioneering design of 30 St Mary Axe, the Tulip is in the spirit of London as a progressive, forward-thinking city," said Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners.

It offers significant benefits to Londoners and visitors as a cultural and social landmark with unmatched educational resources for future generations," Foster added.

Foster + Partners releases images for soft bud-like observation tower in London

Completed in 2004, 30 St Mary Axe, now popularly known as The Gherkin, made a positive contribution at ground level by breathing life into its surroundings. The Tulip seeks to extend the site’s public realm further.  A new pocket park is proposed alongside a two-storey pavilion offering a publicly accessible rooftop garden.  

Together with green walls this increases the site’s green surface area by 8.5 times, supporting the Mayor’s goal for London to be the world’s first National Park City. Public access will also be considerably improved with the removal of over half of the existing perimeter walls around The Gherkin.

Foster + Partners releases images for soft bud-like observation tower in London

The Tulip’s soft bud-like form and minimal building footprint will reflect its reduced resource use, with high performance glass and optimised building systems reducing its energy consumption. The firm uses zero combustion technology for heating and cooling, while integrated photovoltaic cells generate energy on site.

Foster + Partners releases images for soft bud-like observation tower in London

"We are delighted to benefit from the exceptional talent of Foster + Partners in bringing to London this world-class visitor attraction. The Tulip’s elegance and soft strength complements the iconic Gherkin. 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," said Jacob J. Safra.

All images © DBOX, courtesy of Foster + Partners

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