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.
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.