Foster + Partners’ Tulip skyscraper – a world-class visitor attraction proposed for the City of London


Foster + Partners in bringing the Tulip skyscraper – a world-class visitor attraction deriving its name from its nature-inspired form.

The Tulip Foster and Partners-from above

image: Foster + Partners

A few decades ago radio masts and TV towers were tall structures designed to support antennas for telecommunications and broadcasting, including television. They are among the tallest human-made structures. Now, the skyscrapers serves as a viewing tower with observation deck.

The Tulip skyscraper is a new public cultural and tourist attraction proposed by Foster + Partners for the City of London. The new skyscraper would be sited next to 30 St Mary Axe, also known as The Gherkin. This project is proposed by J. Safra Group and Foster + Partners, owners and architects respectively of 30 St Mary Axe. Subject to the planning approval process, construction on The Tulip could begin in 2020 with completion projected for 2025.

According to Foster + Partners , The Tulip will offer an outstanding venue to host cultural, educational, business and technology events. 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. 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.

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 Tulip’s elegance and soft strength complements the iconic Gherkin,” said Jacob J. Safra. “We are confident in London’s role as a global city and are proud to offer its schoolchildren a state-of-the-art classroom in the sky to appreciate London’s history and dynamism.”

The Tulip Foster and Partners-

image: Foster + Partners

The Tulip’s unique visitor experience

The Tulip will 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. Complementing the experience will be a sky bar and restaurants with 360-degree views of the city.

A new pocket park is proposed alongside a two-storey pavilion offering a publicly accessible rooftop garden. Together withgreen walls this increases the site’s green surface area by 8.5 times, supporting the Mayor’s goal for London to be the world’sfirst National Park City. Public access will also be considerably improved with the removal of over half of the existing perimeterwalls around The Gherkin.

The Tulip by Foster and Partners-

image: Foster + Partners

The Tulip Foster and Partners - educational

image: Foster + Partners

The Tulip on the horizon

image: Foster + Partners