New Skyscraper 'The Tulip' Is Blooming Over London

November 21, 2018 Sarah Lorek

One city is going floral with a new tulip-shaped tower rising above the skyline. The city of London, UK, has approved plans for a new tower that some are calling both bulbous and beautiful.


Named “The Tulip” due to its flower-like shape, this new building will be the tallest tower in London and sit next to The Gherkin, a separate structure designed by the same firm, Foster + Partners. The firm’s architect behind the tower of flower power is Joseph Safra of Brazil.


Despite all of the excitement, a recent article from the Guardian explains the potential downside of the tower, stating:

"Construction on the 305-metre (1,000ft) tower must not go ahead until an assessment has been carried out into its potential impact on radar systems at the airport six miles to the east, officials told the authority considering whether to grant planning permission."

So what’s the purpose of this tower and how could its construction affect the city in the coming months? For starters, construction could include a sky bar, viewing gallery, sky bridges, classrooms, restaurants, and even a rooftop garden. Read on to learn more.


Facts about The Tulip

The planning application for the Tulip was submitted on November 13, 2018, and construction is estimated for 2020-2025. The site area would be 2,889m² (31,100sq ft) and would consist of two buildings, the Entrance Pavilion and Visitor Attraction. The tower would stand at a height of 303.5 m (1,000ft), the diameter of the concrete shaft would be 14.3m (47ft), and the diameter of the widest floor would be 34.5m (113ft). The proposal states that structure would consist of a high-strength concrete shaft with steel framed observation deck levels, and the materials used would be concrete shafts for strength, high-performance glass that has been unitised and glazed, steel and aluminum framing, and composite floor slabs.

The building’s weight would be equivalent to 80 fully-loaded Airbus A380s but with a footprint that would be half the size of a single plane. In addition, if laid end to end, the steel reinforcement bar would reach as far as Paris, which is 300 miles away.


Culture Center

Over the past two decades, infrastructure has continued to grow across London’s skyline. According to the Tulip’s press release, “the city of London Corporation has been driving proposals to enliven to Square Mile by creating a Culture Mile with world-class tourist facilities. 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.”


Education Facility

At the top of the Tulip, there will be 20,000 free spaces for state school children. Here, national curriculums will be delivered using innovative tools to bring to life the city’s history.



Over the last 20-30 years, London’s buildings have increasingly become more and more green— and this tower is no exception. Targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, the Tulip will have a pocket park next to the two-story pavilion which will offer access to a rooftop garden. Including the green walls, this will increase the site’s green surface area by 8.5 times, which will help support the Mayor’s 2050 initiative for London to be the world’s first National Park City. In addition, it will have a positive impact on air quality. The optimised design is combined with efficient systems and zero carbon technologies that will provide a 42% carbon savings, and a 48% overall water reduction, with 100% recycled water for irrigation.


Vantage Point View

At around 300 metres, the Tulip will provide a vantage point view unlike any other. There will be viewing galleries that will offer visitors the option to experience the sky bridges, in addition to internal glass slides and gondola rides.


Building an Improved Economy

There will even be opportunities for businesses to operate outside of working hours, resulting in increased social and economic benefits for the community. The Tulip will host many tech, cultural, business, and educational events at its venue, bringing more people and thus more ecological value to the area.


This new building proposal is already raising a few eyebrows but could be highly beneficial to London’s future and socio-economic growth. So what are your thoughts on the Tulip Tower? Do you think London needs this right now? Comment below and let us know!


About the Author

Sarah Lorek

Sarah is the Lead Content Strategist for Trimble Buildings, CEC (Civil Engineering & Construction), and Geospatial. She has worked on many large scale marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, helping them define their story and shape a compelling narrative. Now, she focuses on creating and sourcing valuable thought leadership content for our readers.

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