The controversial plans for a tulip shaped viewing tower are back, with an appeal logged against the decision to block its construction. The tall tower was to be just a viewing platform, with a concrete spine taking people to the bud at the top, with viewing floors and a series of outside glass lifts.

(c) DBOX for Foster + Partners

Such a dramatic shaped building was always going to polarise opinion, but it also pushed the limits of planning consent, which were admittedly aimed at buildings with more conventional use – such as office and flats.

The tower would have stood right next to The Gerkin, which was sold in 2014 to the Safra group, and it was they who commissioned Foster and Partners to come up with the design for the Tulip.

Although the City of London said yes to the plans, the Mayor of London said no, but that left open an option for an appeal, which has now been filed with the City of London. They are however likely to struggle to overcome the issues raised in the report without a fundamental rethink of the entire building.

The unanswered question is just how a tower that would cost a lot to build could ever cover its costs from the relatively limited space available at the top. Other viewing platforms, of which there are an increasing number in London cover their costs by having an office block underneath.

The Tulip was to be all tower, and no occupants.


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  1. JP says:

    Oh Lord! I spoke too soon.

  2. anthony coatsworth says:

    I think it is a magnificent building, to cover costs, charge rich foreign tourist who will happily pay the price, watch them pay extortionate prices in a ‘named’ restaurant. Use it as a bar at night as well….use it to share the history of this great City.

  3. Paul Noble says:

    Surely other ways of raising funds ie restaurant for the tulip building making it a viable asset for its construction even advertising like the London eye did for British airways it would make an magnificent eye catching piece of architecture…They said the millennium dome was a waste of time/money but proved people wrong…Hope the tulip gets a second chance .

  4. CityLover says:

    It’s privately funded

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