The Mayor of London could find himself in dispute with the Lord Mayor of London over proposals for a tall viewing skyscraper called the Tulip.
The tall bulbous tipped tower is planned to sit right next to the Gherkin skyscraper, and would be a dedicated viewing platform for the city.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) says that the proposed tower would look “incongruous” in London, and affect views of the Tower of London due to its unusual appearance within the Eastern Cluster of city towers.
However, the GLA’s main concerns is that the tower, which is a dedicated viewing platform, lacks a free viewing viewing platform. The tower, lacking any offices to rent plans to earn its entire income from visitors, but the London Plan requires tall non-residential towers have to offer free access to a viewing floor.
That regulation is the reason why most of the tall towers going up now have to have free access, which when there was limited options to look down on the city was wonderful, but is now reaching a point where there’s so many viewing floors being planned that they cannot all be viable.
Recently approved applications within the Eastern Cluster at 1 Undershaft and 100 Leadenhall, include free to enter viewing gallery space respectively, with that at 1 Undershaft also including an education centre.
Now the Tulip wants to offer the same — and charge for it.
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.
It would be fairly easy though for the Tulip to comply with the London Plan, by offering a quantity of free places each day, or simply securing an exemption as say One Blackfriars was able to.
Their hope that a floor given over to schools to use seems to be not quite good enough, as it wouldn’t be offering a full 360 panoramic view of the surrounding area, so the GLA is not impressed.
The big question is how on earth a dedicated tower that relies solely on visitor revenues can be viable considering how many alternative options there will be in London by the time it is built.
The 15 page statement from the GLA is here.
All images by Foster + Partners from the planning application.