The controversial Tulip skyscraper has been approved by the City of London, despite complaints from various heritage lobbies and the Mayor of London’s office.

The tulip will be unlike any tower in the City in that it won’t have any office space whatsoever and is purely a viewing platform on a stem.

(c) DBOX for Foster + Partners

Although the City of London has now approved the plans, the Mayor of London has the opportunity to call in the planning application as well for review, and that could see the permission revoked.

The planning officer’s report accepted that the development is significant in terms of its local and wider impacts and in particular its less than substantial harm to the World Heritage Site. However, they felt that the public benefits of the proposal outweigh the priority given to the development plan and other material considerations against the proposals.

The City Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee approved the project by a vote of 18 in favour and 7 against.

If built, it will sit right next to the Gherkin, which is owned by the same company planning the Tulip.

Some modest changes were made to the application following its publication last year, and they have slightly increased the space being given over to the classroom which is to be offered to London schools for free. It is anticipated more than 40,000 school children would attend per year, although there is a limit, in that each school child can visit just once in their “school lifetime”.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much as reported here.

If built, then The Tulip is expected to attract around 1.2 million visitors each year, compared to around 3.5 million visiting the London Eye, or 718,000 to the View from the Shard. The planning report noted that the 1.2 million visitors number being quoted is less than the Tulip’s actual capacity, so there is space for the Tulip to grow.

Construction could start next year, with completion due in 2025.


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  1. David Sankey says:

    Oh dear – it’s a giant SPERM

  2. rob smith says:

    How is it going to make money if it doesn’t have tenants?

  3. Louis Berk says:

    … and you’ll be able to look out close up on some of the most stunningly mediocre architecture. I doubt you’ll even have a visual line to St Pauls or Westminster, so what is the point? When will Londoners be consulted on how they want their central district to look?

  4. Derek A Luckett says:

    No doubt it will be at least £50 per punter for a 10 minute visit……
    And we’re told the price is comparable to other attractions…..blah blah blah.

    • TomH says:

      For novelty value, and a bit of a day out it’s something I’d rather do comparted spending a similar amount to see a few dummies in a windowless building on Marylebone Road. Whether it ever becomes as popular and compelling as the London Eye, given it’s location, is another matter.

  5. Charlotte says:

    There are too many skyscrapers within a short distance of each other in London.
    Some of them are sat next door to older, smaller buildings and it looks a mess.
    Why do we need another one?

  6. Lewis says:

    A viewing tower is a great idea, though I’m not to sure about the Tulip. Apart from the weird design, I think it’s not tall enough as most of the Western view is blocked by the rest of the Eastern Cluster. Too bad it’s as tall as the CAA will allow.

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