Plans for The Tulip, a new public cultural and tourist attraction proposed for the City of London, have been announced by Foster + Partners.
The proposed public cultural attraction which would be sited next to 30 St Mary Axe, also known as The Gherkin. The project by J. Safra Group and Foster + Partners, owners and architects respectively of 30 St Mary Axe. Deriving its name from its nature-inspired form, The Tulip would 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.
Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners said: ‘Continuing the pioneering design of 30 St Mary Axe, the Tulip is in the spirit of London as a progressive, forward-thinking city. It offers significant benefits to Londoners and visitors as a cultural and social landmark with unmatched educational resources for future generations’.
The proposal for a unique 305.3-metre-high visitor attraction reflects a desire to build public engagement within the City and enhance The Gherkin’s public offering. The Tulip promises wide cultural and economic benefits with a diverse programme of events. A key feature will be the education facility within the top of The Tulip, offering 20,000 free places per year for London’s state school children. This educational resource would deliver national curriculum topics using innovative tools to bring to life the city’s history and dynamism, inspiring the creative young minds of tomorrow.
It would also 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. 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.
The Tulip’s soft bud-like form and minimal building footprint reflects its reduced resource use, with high performance glass and optimised building systems reducing its energy consumption. Heating and cooling is provided by zero combustion technology while integrated photovoltaic cells generate energy on site.
Subject to the planning approval process, construction on The Tulip could begin in 2020 with completion projected for 2025.